Home Measurements Cheat Sheet [Infographic]


Take the guesswork out of your home decor feng shui. Here are the ideal measurement for everything in your house. Don’t ever second guess the height of your towel rack or your necessary drawer space. Home measurements need to make sense to give your home a natural flow.


Living Room

With hanging pictures or artwork, the center of the frame should be 57″ high.

End tables should sit 1″-2″ below the armrest of the furniture.

There should be 9″-18″ of knee space between furniture and the coffee table.

The distance your furniture should be from the television is based upon your TV screen size. With a 40″ screen, sit about 5-8 feet away. With a 46″ screen, sit 6-10 feet away. If the screen is 52″ or bigger, you should be viewing it from 7-11 feet away.


The ideal counter-space width for food prep is about 3 feet.

Your microwave should be about 54″ high.

Between the counter and the island, you’ll need about 42″. This gives space for drawers and storage, as well as room for two people to be cooking int he kitchen at the same time.

Dining Room

You need to have 2-3 feet between the wall and the table to allow room for chairs and walking space.

Dining chairs should be 12-18″ apart from each other to allow comfortable breathing room.

In regards to legroom, you’re going to want 10″ between the underside of the table and the top of your chairs.

Place-mats at the table are traditionally 20-30″ wide.


Your towel rack should be 48″ high.

The sink should be right at 3′, although a lot of luxury spaces go a little higher.

You need to have a 16″ radius around the toilet. This isn’t just for leg space. This will make cleaning a lot easier.

Toilet paper should be about 8″ away from the porcelain throne. This is really the worst place to have to stretch for something out of reach.


Doors are traditionally 2-3′ wide. The same goes for walkways – or “traffic lanes” – throughout the house.

Dresser drawers should have 18″ of “pull out” space so that you don’t crowd yourself while you’re getting dressed.

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Should You Allow Someone to Test Drive Your Home?


Test driving a seller’s home has become an interesting topic in real estate. There are many reasons why you would be nervous about allowing a stranger to stay in your home overnight. However, the benefits to allowing a potential buyer stay over are that they are able to hear street noise level is, see how the bedrooms are lit, and even gauge their family’s reaction to a new home. With all of the good that comes with a test drive, you have to understand that you are letting someone who you do not know stay in your most prized possession.

Sleeping over at a seller’s home is not just some small occurrence that happens only in close-knit towns. This phenomenon is happening everywhere. There is even a television show centered around this idea, titled Sleep on It. The show is based on couples staying overnight at two homes on the market to see which is right for them. Whether or not they love the home, the audience is able to see the couple’s reactions for a 24-hour stay at each home. The show can be seen on HGTV.  Take a look at their catchy music video that sums up the “sleepover mentality.”

What are the Possible Benefits?

When you test drive a car, you are able to notice all of the things that you like. The same goes for a home. When most people want to buy, they look for the main benefits to owning the home. Buyers want a home that is safe, in a great neighborhood, and beautiful to look at inside and out. With test driving a home, sellers are able to take a night to sleep on it, literally.

Buyers are also able to meet the neighbors. And what better way to get to know a home or a neighborhood than by meeting the people next door? Hopefully the potential buyer finds that the neighbors are people they can get along with.

Clearly, with testing driving a home via sleepover, a buyer is able to take the entirety of the home, the neighbors, and neighborhood into consideration. This may not be for the more private individuals, but it is definitely an idea that is getting some serious buyers wanting to sleep over that dream home of theirs.

What are the Possible Negatives?

With you not in your home for a night or two, what are some of the possible things that can go wrong with a test drive/sleepover? Well, let’s start with the main problem: theft. No matter how trustworthy a person may seem, you can never be sure if they are going to take even the smallest of belongs from you.

Even though most serious home buyers would never do this to you, there are the rare instances of criminals who case homes by watching the coming-and-goings of homeowners. With a sleepover, what can be easier than someone staying over your home without you there to stop them from taking whatever they want? This is where it would be wise to create a list of valuable items to show your insurance agent and buyer so that your home is covered. This way, the buyer knows exactly what items they should refrain from taking.

There is also the possibility of a natural and/or home disaster. A fire can start in the kitchen due to operating the stove or oven. Without a contract, homeowners insurance is incredibly unlikely to cover this.

Even if a natural disaster is unlikely to occur on the day that you have a buyer test drive your home, you may want to prepare a contract in case of an emergency. However, in the event of a flood, earthquake, or fire, your best interest is to have your insurance cover the cost, so you should ask them what their policy is on a test drive.

The longer a buyer spends time in your home, the more likely they are going to see or experience things they do not like about it. Whether it’s the old paint, some minor stains in the carpet, or that ugly stove, a buyer is much more likely to hate the unappealing features the home has the longer that they stay.

Many real estate agents see the benefits, whereas others see the problems that a test drive can lead to. Kimberly Dixon, an agent from Houston, Texas, says, “For the most part, a client spending the night will likely make more emotional decisions and pick apart a property’s minor attributes, all while overlooking major value — such as a good price.”

A test drive can definitely lead to a wrong turn along the potential buyer’s stay at the seller’s home. With the multiple variables that come along with a test drive, it’s safe to say that this is a hot topic for homeowners and agents alike.

Test Drive or Just Drive Home?

Whether you consider the benefits of a test drive or not, a contract should definitely be in place so that you, and the sleepover guest, know exactly what to expect from their stay-over arrangement. No one wants either party to become frustrated with the other due to lack of knowledge about your home or personal belongings being taken.

By discussing with your real estate agent the possible benefits and downsides of a test drive, you are able to understand if this is the right choice for you to make with your home. Just be sure not to let the potential buyer keep any house keys after the test drive.

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10 Easter Ideas to Make Your Egg Hunt More Memorable


Decorating your home for Easter is a great way to celebrate the holiday. However, what’s great if you have lots of little ones running around that day is an Easter-egg hunt. Here are some amazing ideas to make the hunt even more fun and memorable for the kids.

Bunny Rule Sign

1. Layout the Easter Egg Hunt Rules:

Before Sunday, you should already have some sort of sign with rules ready so that some of the older kids understand what they can and cannot do when looking for the eggs with the toddlers. It would be best to make a sign that lists your egg-hunt rules clearly. Make the rules simple so that the kids have fun instead of getting hurt.

2. Easter Sunday Morning:

Wake them up with some bunny pancakes!















3. The Bunny Bathroom:

Let the kids think the bunny had to go before he left their house but forgot to flush.
















4. Easter Bags:

It’s simple; all you need is some paper bags, cotton balls, scissors, glue, colored paper, and markers—just don’t forget to write their names in bright colors.
















5. Bunny Hats:

Now what’s cuter than seeing your kids run around with bunny hats on their heads? You can make these adorable hats with some colored paper, scissors, and put them together with staples or glue.
















6. The Backyard:

You can decorate your backyard with bunny crossing signs to shaping out bunnies from wood or cardboard, depending upon how good you are with power tools.
















7. Personalize the Easter Eggs:

You can draw out a map for the kids of your backyard. You should personalize the egg by writing each kid’s name on it or having them draw all over it before Easter, and then hide it for each child to find. Inside of it, be sure to put something personal and individual that you know s/he will love.

8. Hard Boil Decoy Easter Eggs:

Yep, that’s right! Kids love a challenge, so why not paint some hard-boiled eggs to disperse around your backyard to trick your kids into thinking they’ve found the real deal.



9. Lunchtime Designs:

After the kids have found all of the eggs, they’ll be ready for lunch. So for a fun game during lunch, have them decorate some paper plates into bunny faces. Be sure not to let any of the kids to eat off of them, though—you don’t want them getting glue in their food!
















10. Jell-O Easter Eggs:

This is an awesome recipe that is simply Jell-O shaped as an Easter egg. You want to use plastic-Easter-egg shells to form the egg shell. Follow the Jell-O instructions to mix it into a liquid, pour them individually into the shells, put them in the freezer over night, and you have your eggs ready for your kids to have for an afternoon snack.













Now that you have some awesome ideas for your Easter egg hunt, be sure to invite all of your friends and family members over to be part of the festivities. Everyone will be impressed with how amazing your home looks, and the kids will love the Easter games and hunt!

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What Stays with the House When You Move Out? [Infographic]

Should It Stay or Should It Go?


Here’s a look at what stays with the house when you move out, what you should take with you, and what should be clarified in the contract.


Needs to Stay

Built-Ins – Cabinets, shelves, wall mounts, etc. should be left in place. Yeah, you spent money on them while you lived in the house, but now they’re a part of the property itself.

Landscaping – Gardens, shrubs, or other natural lawn elements are left behind.

Alarms – Security systems (excluding mobile ones) and smoke detectors are a part of the purchase.

You Can Take

Lawn Furnishings – Patio furniture, play-sets, and other yard equipment is rightfully yours.

Home Decor – Rugs, curtains, and wreaths can all be taken to your new estate. You can even take the blinds, but it’s probably best to leave some stuff for the privacy of the new residents.

Requires Clarification

Appliances – Some lenders require an installed over to grant the money for a loan. Other appliances may be expected, although they are not obligated to be left behind.

Movable Fixtures – Lighting fixtures and kitchen accessories are rightfully yours, but may lure more buyers if you include them in the contract.

Thank you to Realtor.com for providing information used in this infographic.

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Protect Yourself from Equity Stripping Scams


Equity stripping scams are lending refinance practices designed to take away the hard-earned equity you’ve built in your home. This means money is lent to a homeowner with unreasonable payment plans or deceptive details hidden in the contract, so that the faux lender can take the deed of your home or foreclose on the property.

These scams are operated by scam artists, and they’re good at what they do. If you’re going to prevent being the victim of this kind of operation, you need to know how to identify these frauds and take necessary precautions.

equity stripping scams

How Do Equity Stripping Scams Happen?

Equity scammers target lower income homeowners with a lot of equity built up in their estates. They advertise (sometimes in mailers, sometimes by knocking on your door) fast cash and easy rates for a home loan that will relieve the stress of your mortgage payments.

Even if you don’t already have a lot of equity built up, or if you’re not struggling financially, you could still be a target. These criminals are equal opportunity scammers.

By tricking you into a too-high monthly payment – or hiding miscellaneous details that will trap you in a high payment plan – the scammer is counting on you to default on the home. In that moment, the scammer will foreclose the property and the victim is left homeless.

There is also “equity skimming,” a variation in which the scammer convinces the homeowner to write over the deed to the property. They do this by telling you they can “secure better terms” to help you avoid foreclosure. They of course do the opposite, evict you from your property, and then sell or rent it for their own profits.


How Do I Prevent It?

Unfortunately there is no way to hide from equity scammers. If you are in a position where you struggle to make ends meet but have significant equity, you’re probably easy to find.

Luckily, just because scammers can find you does not mean you have to fall victim to their schemes.

The most important thing to take note of is this: Never trust an independent or unaccredited lender.

Use corporate banks or trusted local institutions. If you need to lower your monthly payments, consider refinancing. The truth is no lender is able to help in that situation; one who claims to is almost certainly a scam artist.

Here are a few other tips to prevent being a victim:

  • Never sign anything without a lawyer. And not a lawyer provided by the lender; use your own lawyer.
  • As a general rule, you should never agree to mortgage or rent payments that require more than 33% of your income, and even that’s high. Try to only use around 25% of your salary on your home.
  • They will encourage you to fudge your income on the paperwork, saying you earn more than you really do. This can only lead to stress down the road. Never, ever lie about your income when it comes to something like a home loan!


These scams were popular in the early 2000’s, and with market conditions returning to what they looked like at that point, it’s important to be on guard. With a little knowledge on the subject and these simple preventative steps, there’s no reason you should ever have to worry about falling victim to these malicious equity stripping scams.

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