Consumer Real Estate News

    • 4 Ways to Upgrade Your Home's Lighting Scheme

      23 April 2018

      If your home often feels dim, or you find yourself groping the hallway for that hard-to-find light switch, you may want to consider how you can improve your lighting design. Below are several suggestions from

      Plug it in. Add a plug-in nightlight to bedrooms, bathrooms and hallways to provide safe footing in the dark with no surprises. For a permanent installation, add an electrical receptacle with an LED (Light Emitting Diode) that is controlled by a photo sensor. It turns on in the dark and off in daylight automatically.

      Raise outlets. Make it easy to plug in electrical outlets by installing them 24 inches from the floor so you can reach them without bending down.

      Rock it. Replace a standard light switch with a "rocker" style switch. Other types operate with a touchpad that responds to your finger: slide it up and the light goes on; slide it down and the light dims.

      Motion controlled. At stairs leading to an attic or basement, install a motion sensor onto the switch to light the way hands-free.


      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How to Improve Your Time Management

      23 April 2018

      Looking to get more done in your day? From work to family and social commitments, it can be hard to fit in everything. Here's where time management can help. Consider the following tips to tick more off your daily to-do list.

      Time block. Time blocking is one of the No. 1 metrics of successful time management, and it can make larger tasks feel less overwhelming. Each night before bed, look at your next day's to-dos, and chunk off sections of time for each project, from cleaning the house to tackling paperwork. Unsure how much time? Aim for 1 - 3 hours to avoid mental exhaustion.

      Schedule the hard stuff first. To slay procrastination, schedule the things you'd prefer not to do first. Getting the difficult or least-liked items done first will help you feel more productive.

      Reward yourself. Sprinkle in 15 - 30 minute reward breaks throughout the day, like taking a walk with the dog, reading a chapter of a book or calling a friend.

      Be kind. Regardless of how diligently you planned to follow your daily schedule, sometimes things happen. A headache, family emergency or a task that proves more difficult than you expected. Even a terrible night's sleep can throw off your flow. If this happens, be kind to yourself and pat yourself on the back for what you have accomplished.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How to Prepare for Life’s Inevitabilities

      23 April 2018

      (Family Features)—Spring offers the promise of warmer temperatures, but with spring cleaning, tax season and other responsibilities, it is also a season for planning.

      One inevitable life experience that requires organization, consideration and planning, but often gets overlooked, is the end of life, both for one’s self and loved ones. It is important to have conversations with loved ones, sooner rather than later, to learn about family history, reaffirm how much they mean to you and gain an understanding of how family members want to be memorialized.

      To help families have important conversations about the things that matter and how a person’s life story can be meaningfully remembered and honored, the Funeral and Memorial Information Council (FAMIC) created the
      “Have the Talk of a Lifetime” initiative, which offers families the resources to facilitate these conversations that can be cherished for years to come.

      While you are in a paperwork groove during tax season, take time to fill out FAMIC’s checklist, which can be a resource for things to consider when pre-planning a funeral and for helping facilitate conversations with loved ones. It offers questions such as:

      - Where would you like your service to be held?

      - Will there be a ceremony? If so, religious or non-religious?

      - How would you like to be remembered?

      - Do you have a specific charity you would like to honor?

      By answering these questions, and more, families can create a log of loved ones’ preferences for how they want to be memorialized. Completing the checklist can take place at any time, not just when a family member is nearing the end of life. Answering these questions can also prompt larger conversations about defining experiences and relationships in a loved one’s life.

      Take notes and record your responses as you go through the checklist. Save the checklist in a safe place for when it is needed and to share with future generations. To take your conversations one step further, meet with a local, trusted funeral professional and share those thoughts and ideas with someone who can help you put a plan in place, easing the burden on your loved ones.

      Regardless of when it becomes necessary to refer to the preferences and memories recorded in the checklist, you can be grateful you took the time to have meaningful conversations with those most important to you.


      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 5 Ways to Keep Your Basement From Flooding

      20 April 2018

      Heavy storms can wreak havoc on our homes, especially if you have a basement that’s in danger of flooding. New York-based T. Webber Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning offers the following tips to protect your basement from water damage when foul weather strikes:

      1. Look for Signs of Water – Do a walk-through and search for any signs of water damage, especially under basement stairs. Keep an eye out for moisture on walls or floors.

      2. Act Quickly – If you discover water stains or standing water, call an expert right away. If it isn't resolved quickly and professionally, you risk more significant damage, as well as possible mold contamination.

      3. Be Proactive – Check the operation of your sump pump, if you have one, to remove excess water. Also make sure the drain and catch basin are clean. If you don't have one, but have a history of basement flooding, consider having a sump pump installed to prevent future damage.

      4. Clear Gutters and Downspouts – Inspect for clogs and make sure that water is flowing away from your home and foundation.

      5. Turn off Electricity – If you do encounter flooding in your basement, turn off all power sources by switching off the main breaker. Do this before entering the basement any time there is standing water. It's best to get help from a professional to reduce electrocution risk.

      The most important step a homeowner can take is to be proactive. This will save you from the stress and expense of more severe water damage.


      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 5 Tips to Get Ready to Run That Race

      20 April 2018

      (Family Features)--You've made the decision to get in shape, and whether your goal is a full marathon or simply a few laps around the neighborhood, there are a few steps to consider taking before you strap on those shoes and head toward the finish line.

      Here are a few tips to help get you ready for the big race:

      Seek quality sneakers. Feet come in a variety of widths and sizes, so visit a specialty running store to find perfect-fitting sneakers. These may come with a hefty price tag, but there are no shortcuts for comfort and support while running long distances.

      Make a schedule. Try to aim for at least 10 hours of training per week, including three days where you run and two or three days of other physical activity, such as cycling or strength training. To avoid exhaustion, be sure to include at least 1 - 2 "rest" days per week.

      Stick with water. Avoid sports drinks that are loaded with preservatives and sugars. You can't go wrong with the hydrating power of water. As a rule, try to consume at least 6 - 8 ounces of water for every 20 minutes you run. Proper hydration after a run is also vital.

      Go online. Many websites have training guides for various skill levels or different types of races. If you have a smartphone, look for apps that can take you through day-by-day workouts to get you marathon-ready.

      Nutrition. Filling your body with the proper amount of fuel can help ensure finish-line success. Load up on quality carbohydrates, such as beans, peas, whole-wheat pastas, whole-grain cereals, apples, brown rice and root vegetables. Protein also plays an important role in a runner's nutrition, so fill up on lean meats, fish, eggs, low-fat dairy, peanut butter and soy protein sources, as well.

      By following these general rules, you'll be able to focus on achieving your goal and enjoy the thrill of finishing the race.


      Published with permission from RISMedia.