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Luxury Treehouses

by David Tyler Mills

I bet you wish you had these when you were a kid...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9 Cool Home Upgrades

by David Tyler Mills

Fewer people are buying new homes these days, opting instead to do home renovations - you know, just to spice things up a little.

Maybe you turn your bathroom into a high-tech spa or get some smart appliances in the kitchen. Maybe you do some green upgrades or maybe you do something purely for luxury.

So, what's the new rain showerhead, the new infinity pool?

We talked to contractors, designers and developers all over the country and here are the 10 Coolest Home Upgrades. 

Hidden, Wall-mounted TV

 

Wall mounted TV

Photo: Electronichouse.com

It's go big or go home with televisions these days - but when you bring one of these drive-in movie-sized screens home, it can often wreck the design of the room. When a guest walks in, they won't say, "Wow, what a nice house," but rather, "Wow, what a big TV you have!"

Well now, you can have it all - a big screen and big style. Designers are increasingly choosing to hide gigantic televisions in the wall and cover them with a mirror or artwork so when they're not in use, you don't even know they're there!

When it's above the fireplace, it can be a framed mirror or piece of art. In the photo at left, this Samsung 37-inch LCD is mounted in the closet behind the mirror, hidden by a removable panel in the closet.

You probably want a pro to do this - TVs require proper ventilation.

Water Feature With Fire

 

Water Feature With Fire

Photo: MerchantCircle.com

Fountains aren't new and fire pits aren't new but put them together - maybe even add some LED lighting - and shazam! Welcome to the future.

A water feature with fire shooting out of the middle can instantly remind you of that Hawaiian vacation (maybe pump some hula music into the outdoor speakers) or just ensure that you not only keep up with the Joneses but knock their socks off when they come over for a barbeque.

They can be rectangular trough-like structures with broken glass in the middle where the fire shoots out, or circular like this one in the picture at left. They can be freestanding, attached to a pool or create a big ridge of fire in a stoned wall. Have a seat because you can control it all by remote control!

OK, who wants toasted marshmallows?

Home Golf Simulator

Home Golf Simulator 

Photo: Truegolf.com

Golfers have been practicing their swing at home for years but not quite like this - a floor-to-ceiling golf simulator with a massive screen to let you "play" on some of the coolest courses in the world from Hawaii to England.

A golf simulator like the one from Trugolf is the ultimate addition to your game room next to the pool table and pinball machine.

Not only do you really feel like you're on the course but it helps you with your game, with sonic ball-tracking sensors and a program that gives you valuable feedback on your swing. They run from $20,000 to $60,000 or more.

She winds up the swing, good form and... Four!

Exotic Landscape Lighting

 

Exotic Landscape Lighting

Photo: Robert Davie

So you've got spotlights and those little solar path lights but this is taking your backyard to the next level and doing exotic landscape lighting.

Maybe it's uplighting on the palm trees, Cotton explained, or in the waterfall that spills over into the pool.

The cool thing is, Cotton said, you can even use solar lights - so it won't cost you an arm and a leg in electricity! Take a solar light, put it in a spotlight and turn it upside down shooting up into your landscaping or water feature like a fountain or koi pond.

"Landscape lighting in the water is fairly easy to do," Cotton said. "You get that constant reflection - It's very romantic mood light. It produces a romantic and flickering light - just like a fire does."

Outdoor Shower

 

Outdoor Shower

Photo: Karmasamui.com

No, we're not talking about the kind you put next to the pool so the kids can wash off the sand, dirt or chlorine.

These are luxurious showers, usually off of the master bath, made of high-end stone and other natural materials, with lush foliage that create your own personal Eden.

You'll already find this type of outdoor shower in resorts in Bali, Fiji and the Caribbean, but now, homeowners are bringing the resort home.

"It's a very sexy thing," said Walid Wahab, president of Wahab Construction in south Florida. "It's your private shower -- you can get completely naked and take a shower outside in your private garden."

Wahab said the construction is getting very creative - things like a shower head coming out of a tree.

Master Control for Energy Consumption

 

Master Control for Energy Consumption

Photo: Control4.com

You know you can control your entire house now from a laptop, iPhone or iPad. Everything from the lights and thermostat to the stereo - and even the pool. Here's taking it to the next level - a master control for energy consumption.

"This is very, very new - people are just experimenting with it," said Ron Rimawi, who co-owns Digital Interiors in Atlanta. "It helps make you more aware and more conscious of your energy usage, so you don't waste energy."

Basically, they're small digital panels that connect with the utilities and track various appliances and systems in your home. They can tell you everything from your usage to the temperature and how much it's all costing you!

"We have long held the belief that the promise of the Smart Grid can only be realized if the consumer is front-and-center in the design of demand-response systems," said Control4, which makes the master control for energy consumption pictured at left.

Pop-up Ventilation for the Kitchen

 

Pop-up Ventilation for the Kitchen

Photo: Dacor.com

No one wants the lingering smell of smoke and cooking fumes in the kitchen - particularly with how hot the open-concept kitchen-living area is right now. But hoods, no matter what high-end materials you use, can be clunky, not to mention they get greasy and dirty.

Enter the pop-up hood vent - You can sink it into an island or other countertop (of course, with an underground vent to the outside) and then at the press of a button, it comes up, sucks all the smoke and fumes out and then press the button again and - poof! - it vanishes again.

This is not only great for kitchen design, but also to lure other members of the family into the kitchen to help.

Make it high-tech - and they will come!

Cooling Drawer

 

Cooling Drawer

Photo: Electronichouse.com

Let's face it - kitchens are getting cool. From sleek granite to smart appliances, this isn't your grandma's kitchen.

One of the places where the most innovation is taking place is in the refrigerator. Maybe they have double French doors or are hidden by paneling that makes them blend in with the cabinets.

One of the coolest things - literally - is a cooling drawer, like the one shown left from Fisher Paykel. These are drawers with several different temperature settings, so you can store soda, wine, snacks for the kids - even ice cream.

They're individual drawers, so you can have any number of them scattered around the house.

Scource: Cindy Perman, CNBC.com; taken from Yahoo! Real Estate Blog.

11 Horrible Real Estate Ads

by David Tyler Mills

A picture might be worth a thousand words, but for most real estate agents, it could be mean losing a listing.  Even though there are other crucial factors that contribute to selling a home, it’s fascinating whenever a seller pulls a listing simply because a picture didn’t capture every alluring essence that only the seller sees.  However, this does not license a real estate agent to exert no effort while taking pictures. 

You think Rocket Science is hard?  Try photography.

On the flip side, sometimes real estate agents just don’t have much to work with. 

“Mrs. Jones, I know you like this table, but what kind of ‘value’ are we talking about that this is adding?”

Here is a list of pictures showcasing some truly effortless listing pictures.  Enjoy!

It’s one thing to move some toys out of the way, but having to take a mattress out of the kitchen might be pushing the requirements of an agent.  Maybe if we just shut the oven, fix the blinds, and sweep the floors.  Then again, we can always include “Fixer-upper” in the ad.

“So are we going for the whole ‘CSI investigative scene’ here?”

Can you imagine a world without spell check?  Believe it or not, there was a time we had to proofread stuff.  It’s amazing to see how replacing a “v” with a “c” can really change a message.  Now, I just hope I used proper spelling when poking fun at this ad.  That would be embarassing

Rule of Thumb: Apartments with spacious first floors are prone to lice.

I shouldn’t have to say this.  Nevertheless, a listing picture should include the house you are selling.  If unkempt shrubbery is your selling hook, then good luck trying to find an avid hedge artist.

Some buyer’s enjoy playing I Spy, right?

You might know this, but real estate agents have very fragile legs.  It’s a struggle to leave our beds much less our cars.  Lucky for us at McNaughton Real Estate, we’ve been taking full advantage of our Pilates instructor that moved in next door.   

Whoever said drive-bys were only for gangsters?  

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but some eyes must not work correctly.  Being from Arkansas, we’ve seen our share with camo theme houses.  Try to stay with neutral colors when selling your house.  And don’t use wrapping paper as wall paper either…

If you look closely, you can see the entire family wearing matching PJs.

“Desperate times call for desperate measures” has been the mentality for many realtors throughout the nation.  Lafayette, IN must be in great despair.  Not only do their houses need to be digitally enhanced, but the budget cuts required a downgrade on their computer software.

This agent’s proud mother added this gem to her refrigerator.

Nothing says “sold as is” than beef jerky sizzling in the corner.  A better idea would have been leaving the road kill on the street.  On the other hand, I bet this is actually the neighbor’s pet, and the owners panicked while trying to find a hiding place.  Too many scenarios, so little time.

The sellers also included the microwave that Sparky shot out of.

It’s always good to keep the tenant in the loop during picture day.  You never know what you’ll find or, better yet, not find (in this case a shirt.)  Sex does sell, but make sure your advertising something remotely sexy…

Try not to schedule your showing between 2:00-5:00.  That’s when Phil parties his hardest.

Between pink flamingos and garden gnomes, there are plenty of options to make your yard tacky.  Let’s try to keep the skulls and toilets to ourselves.  And don’t give me that “it’s an outhouse.”  Slap some walls around it and cut a crescent out of the door and maybe we’ll talk.

Seriously though, isn’t it up to the owner to decide how many bathrooms there really are?

I’ll admit some sellers work as stringently as agents.  And agents should know their client’s sleep patterns (well, enough to not be creepy.)  But if it’s picture day, we don’t need a client as a centerpiece. 

“Hey you with the camera, can you find me a new TV?  Maybe one that isn’t the size of a Teletubby’s belly? ”

It’s common to fumigate your house, but I haven’t heard too many instances where an exorcist was needed.  I’m scared enough going into a seller’s home where the electricity is off.  I definitely don’t need to add Ghost Hunter to the resume.    

Who ya gonna call??? Another agent…

Let me know if you find any horrible real estate ads.  You can send them to me at tyler@mcnaughtonrealtors.com.  I'll see if we can get a special section for your pictures on our Facebook page.

Islands for Sale

by David Tyler Mills

If you’re having a hard time deciding what to splurge on whenever you receive your refund check from the government, here is a unique idea.  Why not buy an island?!  Vacations are so short-term anyway, right?  Not to mention you’ll gaining the ability to top any story at any dinner with acquaintances.

 

“Oh, you went paragliding?  Hmm…  Well, I have an island.”

So if you’re ready to grab the American dream by the horns, then take a look at Private Islands Online.  With an assortment of listings throughout the world, I’m sure you’ll find the perfect island for you and your yacht.  Here are a few to put on your wish list.

North Coco Plum Island, Belize

Price: $2,750,000

Size: $10.3

Location: Dangriga 

Features:

  • 15 minute flight from the International Airport
  • 30 minutes by boat from the mainland in the Southwater Marine Reserve
  • 5 concrete Casitas
  • 5 Over Water Cabanas
  • A 3 Unit Family Villa that accommodates 31 in privacy
  • 1200 foot seaside boardwalk
  • 3 bars (I'm assuming sand bars.)
  • 2 dining areas
  • A scuba center
  • Banks, pharmacies, markets, and essentials only 30 minutes away

 

West Nalaut Island, Philippines

Price: $8,000,000

Size: 118 acres

Location Palawan

Features:

  • “Top 10 island destination in the world” –National Geographic
  • Mostly trash and garbage free due to governmental awareness programs
  • Located in the region with the highest tourism potential in the world
  • Permits and licenses for luxury resort provided
  • Record breaking growth in tourism arrivals of 392% in a 12-month period
  • One thousand pages of documentation are included in the full purchase price, giving you plenty of literature to read on your lonely island.  
  • 40 minute-flight from Manila to Busuanga
  • Out of the Philippine typhoon belt
  • “A” seismic safe tsunami free zone (Not sure why there are quotes around “A,” but it leads me to believe that this island isn’t safe from "many" seismic tsunamis)
  • Freshwater source on the island
  • 3G GSM cellular signal on the island, which isn’t useful for having pizza delivered

 

Rangyai Island, Thailand

Price: $160,000,000

Size: 110 acres

Location: East of Phuket

Features:

  • Freshwater
  • Electric generator
  • Mobile signal, so you won't be stuck talking to Wilson all day
  • 20 minutes from Phuket International Airport
  • 10 minutes by boat from the nearest town
  • Beautiful white sand beaches
  • Lush tropical forests
  • Incredible 360° views

 

The fabulous life of the rich and famous awaits you.  However, if you don’t have a couple of million hiding under your suede, Siberian white tiger couch cushions, then check us out for plenty of great prices for homes in Northwest Arkansas.  We’ll even let you build a moat around your home if you desire.    

“I wonder if the price of stale Cheerios has increased this year.”

How Healthy is Your Brain?

by David Tyler Mills

I know everyone is in their tip-top physical shape after my blog on workout supplements, but we can’t forget about the brain.  Yeah, it’s great to be in shape, but nobody likes all brawn and no smarts.  Fortunately, there are a variety of lifestyle choices that can directly exercise and preserve our brains.

Lumosity.com has a website that will grade your brain from your lifestyle choices.  Just go to www.braingradetest.com to try your free test.  It only takes about 5 minutes.

Along with your grade, the test gives an analysis on your diet, exercise, health, lifestyle, and cognition.  It will highlight areas you’re strong at and explain why that activity is important.  The test also includes areas that you’re struggling in and how you can improve them.  If you want, Lumosity.com can help train your brain.

I won’t tell you what I got, but let’s just say I need to eat more fish.  Let me know what y’all think!

Top 10 Workout Supplements for Men & Women

by David Tyler Mills

With a new year comes new resolutions and if you’re like everyone else in the world, it’s just a new start to try last year’s resolutions again.  Nevertheless, the general consensus at our office is to get in shape this year.  As a result,  we can be on our “A” game to help with your real estate needs (and so we can live longer) but mostly to help you ("And the salesman of the year goes to…") All jokes aside, let’s get those sweatbands on and educate ourselves on the top 10 supplements for men and women.

Top 10 Workout Supplements for Men & Women   

1. Whey Protein Powder

  • Men - Whey protein powder is a clean, natural, and effective supplement for building muscle and burning fat.  It provides essential amino acids that our muscles need.
  • Women - This stuff isn’t only for men.  It helps fight cravings for unhealthy foods, keeps you energized for workouts, and helps you lose considerable tummy fat. 


2. Multi Vitamins

  • Men - Even if you’re consistent with a daily healthy diet, a strenuous workout can deplete those nutrients.  Taking a multi vitamin designed for men helps the recovery process.
  • Women – Same story for women.  Find a multi vitamin designed for women.

 

3. Creatine

  • Men & Women - One of the most effective and researched supplement, creatine is naturally found in meats and helps your body store and use more energy especially in intense situations.  So if you’re looking for a little motivation for those extra repetitions, here’s your answer.

4. Pre-workout energy drink

  • Men – Pre-workout gives you that boost you need to plunge into an intensive workout.  Most of these energy drinks contain caffeine, nitric oxide, and other metabolism charging compounds, which gives you a rush of energy. 
  • Women - If you need motivation just to get started, then invest in a pre-workout energy that is targeted for women.  Women’s pre-workout energy drinks consist of some great ingredients like Green Tea and natural amino acids like Taurine and Arginine. 

5. Omega 3’s

  • Men & Women - This supplement contains essential fatty acids that we need because our bodies cannot create them by itself.  Omega 3’s help with cardiovascular health, cognitive function, rebuilds cells, and restores joint flexibility.

6. Thermogenic Fat Burner

  • Men & Women - These aren’t essential but are popular among women.  Be sure to look for a “metabolism boosting” thermogenic fat burner because these have the least side effects.  When using these, make sure to follow up with a great diet with plenty of water.   

7. BCAA’s

  • Men - Containing three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine, branch chained amino acids help spare our muscles from being broken down during your workout.  BCAA’s help you gain muscle which will help you burn more calories.  When combined with BCAA’s, glutamine plays a primary role for protein synthesis and is a cellular energy resource.  This is great as a post-workout supplement. 
  • Women – Don’t worry about increasing muscle mass.  Gaining muscle doesn’t necessarily mean greater bulk.  You need muscles to burn more calories.

8. Natural Sleep Supplement

  • Men & Women - Sleep is what our bodies need to help rebuild muscle.  During sleep, your muscles repair, recover, and grow; therefore, depriving yourself from rich deep sleep robs yourself from these benefits.

9. Casein Protein & Antioxidants

  • Men – Unlike whey protein, casein protein has a natural time-release.  This supplement maintains a steady level in our amino acids for our muscles.  It should be taken an hour or two before going to bed in order to reap its benefits while your muscles are repairing in your sleep.
  • Women - Want to look younger?  Then you’ll need to reduce stress and eliminate toxins.  What supplement helps you do this?  Antioxidants.  Acai and Gojiberry have high antioxidant content, which is why they’ve been receiving a great deal of publicity.

10. Joint Support

  • Men & Women - Glucosamine can help support flexibility and mobility for your joints.  With a greater range of motion for your joints and muscles, you can receive better results when strength training.  Also, joint support supplements can assist with knee, shoulder, and back pain.

Source: www.weightlossandtraining.com

Note: The pictures supplied for each supplement are examples and are not preferences.

10 Unique Gifts for your Home this Christmas

by David Tyler Mills

Christmas is almost here, and you still have a lot of space under the tree.  Don’t worry; I took the liberty to find some unique gifts that everyone will enjoy (Queue heroic music.)  These are gifts that give back because they’re for your home.   Try to think in terms of giving your husband an amazing screwdriver so that in turn he can repair those cabinets.  You get the cabinets you’ve wanted, and he gets a cool new tool that makes enhancing his home easier. Yes, we’re talking about the top 10 unique gifts for your home!

Samsung Stainless Steel Refrigerator with LCD Touch Screen and Apps ($2,300)

What’s a cool house without a cool refrigerator?  However, this refrigerator does more than cool your eggnog.  Not only does this fridge come with French doors, tempered glass spill-proof shelves, water filtration, a twin cooling system, and 28 cubic feet of space, this cooling powerhouse is the first refrigerator with a Wi-Fi enabled LCD touchscreen installed on the door panel.  So while Santa is raiding your fridge for more milk, he can check his Twitter, listen to his favorite Christmas mix on Pandora, and leave you a memo to not be so greedy with your Oreos next year.

Addison Faucet with touch20.xt ($416)

It’s about time the whole “hands-free faucet” idea made it into our homes, which is probably the only thing we’ve been envying from a public restroom.  How does it work?  A sensor that picks up static electricity turns this faucet on when you’re within 4 inches of it.  Or if you’re having physical withdrawals from your faucet, you can always just give it a friendly tap.  Gone are the days of having to cleaning your faucet immediately after cleaning your soiled hands.

Addison Single Handle Lavatory Faucet with Touch2O.xt™ Technology

WhisperSense Ventilation Fan ($312)

I don’t know about you, but nothing gets me fired up than forgetting to turn the bathroom vent on after taking a steamy shower.  No more drawing pictures on your mirror as you wait for the steam to clear.  This new ventilation fan automatically switches on when someone enters and remains on until the humidity drops.  This smart fan is the perfect wingman!

Bath fan

Ipod Roll Holder ($50)

If someone gave me this as a gag gift, I would laugh it off nonchalantly.  After the party, I’m racing home to install this toilet paper roll so I can enjoy it for the rest of my days.  This holder can play all Ipod and MP3 players through two sets of tweeters and woofers.  It is simply mounted on the wall with a basic two-screw kit that’s included.  Now you can finally have an empowering theme song while you use the bathroom.

quirky present

Aquarium Sink by Opulent Items ($4,500)

A bathroom can be a cold, lonely place.  I’m aware that the bathroom is a private setting, but I would enjoy having an audience listening to me sing along with my Ipod Roll Holder.  This sleek sink houses a number of nonjudgmental fish while functioning as a bathroom sink.  Of course, my mom would refuse to take this because my dad would take advantage of having a livewell in his house.

Aquarium Sink

Picture Wall Clock by Opulent Items ($50)

This chic wall clock displays 12 multicolored frames so you can remain in a state of nostalgia every hour of the day.  Or you can put it in your living room with pictures of your favorite TV shows that come on every hour.  Or you can place one in your teenager’s room with pictures of chores he needs to complete every hour.  The possibilities are endless!

chic clock

Improved Cordless Blower from Stihl ($500)

Those leaves have been taunting you and your leaf whisperer long enough.  This handheld hurricane produces a 102 mph stream of air and moves 385 cubic feet per minute.  It has a 36-volt battery and is neighbor-friendly at 64 decibels.  Make sure not to let your neighbors know if you get this gift.  Let them remain confused whenever mysterious piles of leaves suddenly accumulate in their yard.

Looj Robotic Gutter Cleaner from iRobot ($130-$170)

This innovative little gadget makes me want to get gutters so I can have a reason to use it.  Instead of letting your gutters clog up, use the Looj to fling the debris for you.  All you need to do is climb a ladder, set the Looj in the gutter, and watch it bulldoze away.  Watch it in action!

Mint Plus Automatic Floor Cleaner by Evolution Robotics ($299)

When I was younger, I always thought the future would hold an army of helpful robots that would clean my house.  Welcome to the future!  This little robot tracks an infrared beam on the ceiling to triangulate its location in a room and then sweeps or mops the floor in neat rows without bumping into every wall in the house.  It will only be a matter of time before these little wonders start climbing on the walls and cleaning our ceilings.

DropCam by DropCam Inc. ($199-$279)

This neat little gadget would make James Bond jealous.  It only takes about two minutes to set it up without the need of a computer or DVR box.  The DropCam sends a live recorded full-motion video to your iPhone or Android.  Whenever it detects motion, you’ll get an email and an iPhone push notification.  I presume this will be the end of all late-night teenage sneak-ins for your kids.

Of course, everyone knows that the best gift that someone can receive is a new home.  Give us a call today, and we'll get you fixed up.  Merry Christmas Everyone!

Displaying blog entries 1-7 of 7

Contact Information

Photo of Don McNaughton Real Estate
Don McNaughton
McNaughton Real Estate
4299 W. Persimmon
Fayetteville AR 72704
479-442-9099
Fax: 479-442-0948
       

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