Consumer Real Estate News

    • The Best Things to Buy in January

      18 January 2021

      It’s a no-brainer that January is a good time to stock up on price-reduced holiday cards, gift wrap, Christmas tree decorations and all things holiday-related. But if one of your New Year’s resolutions is to save money, take advantage of sale prices traditionally available in January on a variety of other household goods and adventures.

      Bed Linens 
      Since January of 1898, when merchant John Wanamaker pioneered the first White Sale on bed sheets, this month remains the best time to find best deals on bed linens, duvets, quilts, pillows and blankets.

      Exercise Equipment 
      With many people in January vowing to lose weight and get fit, vendors offer their best prices of the year on health and fitness items like treadmills, ellipticals, weight sets and, of course, scales.

      Vacations and Cruises 
      Winter time is traditionally a good time to find good values on resorts and cruises. This year, with the vacation industry hard-hit by the health pandemic, there are especially good vacation deals available to consumers looking to travel by next summer or fall.

      Winter Clothing and Sports Gear 
      Retailers looking ahead to stocking swimsuits and summer gear are already offering sale prices on warm winter clothes and related sports gear, like skis and sleds.

      Video Games 
      Retailers stocked up big-time on video games for holiday gift-giving, so good prices are offered now on over-stocked games.

      Flooring or Carpeting 
      This is another category of goods bought frequently before the holidays, though perhaps less so in 2020. Still, check vendors for best available prices as January is traditionally sale time.

      Televisions 
      If you’ve been waiting for a great deal to upgrade your old TV, this is a good time to start looking. You’ll likely find good deals on TVs with all the latest tech, like Smart TV capabilities and 4K resolution.

      Cars 
      January can be a good time to search for car deals. Look for incentives on new 2020 models, as the new year is a new model year for dealers. 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Improve Your Mental Health With Better Sleep

      18 January 2021

      (Family Features) For some, the holidays may be the happiest season of all, but for others the hectic pace and endless to-do lists can take a real toll on their mental health. This year, the impact is heightened by a global health pandemic. 

      According to a survey from Mattress Firm, more than 60 million Americans say COVID-19 has worsened their quality of sleep, and those losing sleep are often seeing their mental well-being and healthy habits worsen. Nearly half of respondents said COVID-19 has increased their worries and prevented them from falling or staying asleep at night, with 41% reported their poor sleep has a negative impact on their daily lives.

      “It’s no surprise that when our minds are full or our hearts are heavy, our mental health tends to suffer,” said Dr. Sujay Kansagra, a sleep health expert for Mattress Firm. “What many people don’t realize is that mental health struggles also affect sleep, and adequate rest is a key component of maintaining and improving your mental health.”

      If stress and worry are preventing you from getting a good night of sleep, try these ideas from Kansagra to help improve your mental state and ease your body into rest. 

      Think positively. Every night before going to bed, list three good things from your day. They don't have to be amazing things, just three positive aspects of your day. For example, acknowledge you had a good virtual catch-up with a colleague or enjoyed a new recipe or workout class. Listing your positive experiences at night can help you maintain a positive frame of mind as you unwind for the day.

      Create a to-do list. This technique is for those who mentally work through their list of pending responsibilities before bed. In a fast-paced world, sometimes lying in bed is the first time you have to actually think about what’s on your list. By creating a list of tasks (or even writing down your worries), you can prevent yourself from thinking about them excessively before bed and throughout the night. 

      Try progressive relaxation. This involves taking slow, deep breaths and slowly tensing the muscles in your body for a few seconds then relaxing them. Start at your feet and work your way up the body. This technique can help you relax and decompress after a long day.

      Give yourself a break. Especially if you’re working from home or tackling a lot of seasonal tasks, it’s easy to keep yourself busy up until the minute you fall into bed. However, your mind may still be whirling from all that activity. Build in a few minutes before bed each night to let your mind rest, whether it’s spending a few minutes with a good book, practicing meditation or sipping on a cup of sleepy-time tea.

      Appeal to your senses. Being mindful of how your senses react to various stimuli can play a role in your ability to drift off to sleep. Some people need silence; others benefit from ambient sound. Certain scents can be soothing and make good choices for essential oil diffusers, such as lavender oil. Also be conscious of the touches that affect your sleep, like the support from your mattress, the softness of your sheets or the temperature of the room.

      Whether it’s your family, your health or general stress that’s keeping you up, find time in your day to give yourself some grace. Your mental health is extremely important and should not be overlooked, so if you’re feeling a little worn down, ensure you’re getting the quality sleep you need to tackle the day and week ahead. 
      Find more tips for better sleep at MattressFirm.com.

      What’s Keeping You Awake?
      If you’re like many Americans, outside influences and worries may affect your sleep. Pinpointing what’s keeping you awake, such as these common sleep disruptors reported in a Mattress Firm survey, can help you address your concerns so you can rest more easily.

      1. Money or Paying Bills (49%)
      2. My or My Family’s Health (48%)
      3. State of Country and the Economy (39%)
      4. My Kids and Their Health or Education (32%)
      5. Missing Social Interaction (31%)

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 4 Signs That a Rental Has Not Been Well-Maintained

      18 January 2021

      When it comes to renting, it’s important to pay attention to warning signs and possible problems during a walkthrough. Though you aren’t purchasing a house, your rental will serve as your home for the length of your lease.

      If issues go unchecked or simply aren’t taken care of, you may want to think twice before committing to a landlord who hasn’t shown interest or care in maintaining the property. Keep your eyes open and watch out for these four warning signs that a rental has not been well-maintained.

      Discolored Walls and Ceilings 
      Leaks are a property nightmare. Because they are often costly to fix, a neglectful landlord or property manager may procrastinate and avoid repairs. However, leaks don’t fix themselves. In fact, they often get worse when they aren’t taken care of. If you move into a rental with leak problems, your personal belongings are at risk. As you walk through a new rental property, look for brown-ish discoloration on the walls and ceilings, as well as any bubbles or mold that may indicate unwanted moisture. 

      Broken Appliances and Smoke Detectors
      In most states, landlords are obligated to routinely test and maintain smoke detectors on their rental properties. Also, if a rental offers large appliances, such as a refrigerator, oven, dishwasher or washer and dryer, it is up to them to make repairs as needed. When you visit a new apartment, be sure to test each item to determine the quality and any potential issues. If you find that an appliance or smoke detector isn’t working, it can be a sign that the landlord doesn’t care for the property or the safety of their tenants. 

      Unkempt Grounds 
      Whether you’re looking at an apartment complex or a rental house, don’t ignore the landscaping. As it is the first thing you see when you pull up, you can get a pretty good idea of how the rest of the property is maintained. Even if it falls on the tenant to cut the lawn or trim the bushes, if the landscaping is in rough shape, you never know what else the landlord might let slide. Shaggy grass, dangling tree branches and overgrown gardens and bushes are just a few prominent signs to look for when determining the care of a property. 

      Signs of Pest Infestation
      Whether it’s insects or rodents, pest infestation is not only dangerous to your health, but a telltale sign that a property is neglected. Because pests such as cockroaches, mice and ants can be easily hidden in the walls or under appliances, it can be hard to spot them. Keep your eyes—and noses—open for any signs of pests, such as droppings or an unusual smell. If you come across evidence, or possibly spot an insect or rodent, notify the landlord and walk away from this potentially harmful property.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Emergency Plans for Your Family

      15 January 2021

      Do you know what to do when a disaster strikes? Do your children? By creating and practicing an emergency safety plan, you can protect your family when natural disasters happen. Wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes each require special preparations, including emergency kits with food, water, first aid, medicines and blankets.

      Fires. The National Fire Protection Association advises you to have at least two ways to escape the home in case of fire. Practice fire drills with your children at least twice a year so they can identify safer escape routes from anywhere in the home.

      Tornadoes. Tornadoes are fast, unpredictable and destructive. The Red Cross recommends the safest shelter for the family are rooms without windows, such as interior rooms, closets, hallways or a storm shelter/basement, if available.

      Hurricanes. The Insurance Information Institute suggests learning where the nearest public shelters and evacuation routes are before hurricane season begins.

      Earthquakes. Earthquakes happen without warning and can be followed by powerful aftershocks. Ready.gov says to practice drop, cover and hold-on drills, like getting under a sturdy desk or table, against an interior wall or in the jamb of a door on a load-bearing wall.

      Before disaster strikes, review your homeowner’s insurance and make sure you’re covered for flooding and wind damage. Upload photographs of your home and valuables to the cloud. Keep valuables, important files and priceless photographs in a safety deposit box and prepare your emergency kit. 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Match Your Winter Skin Care Routine with Your Active Lifestyle

      15 January 2021

      (Family Features) Winter weather can pose some unique challenges to your skin, especially if you’re trying to maintain an active workout routine. Exposure to the elements while exercising outdoors can have a harsh impact on the skin. On the other hand, the humidity and constant running of heaters can also wreak havoc if the weather forces you to work out indoors. 

      “The winter season can be a challenge for those trying to maintain their workout regimens, especially this year when many people are staying closer to home,” said Dr. Jeanine Downie, board-certified dermatologist and Medline Remedy consultant. “An outdoor workout is a great way to get some fresh air and burn calories, but it’s also important to nourish your skin before and after you’ve completed your workout.”

      Just like establishing a good winter workout routine, there are some things you can do to keep your skin in shape all winter long. Use sunscreen any time you venture outdoors and dress for whatever elements you may be facing. Be sure to remove wet clothes, which can create friction and skin irritation, immediately after returning inside. Limit the length of hot showers, which can also dry out skin, and use a quality moisturizer, especially after exposure to harsh weather. 

      Learn more about winter skin care at remedyderm.com. 

      Long-Lasting Moisture
      When you spend time working out outdoors, your body’s natural hydration is more prone to evaporating. That, in turn, can lead to dry skin. Whether you’re battling rough skin or simply want to help keep your skin hydrated, a clinically tested lotion can help maintain the skin’s natural defenses. After spending time outside and every time you wash your hands or bathe, help retain moisture for up to 24 hours with an option like Remedy Dermatology Series Body Lotion, which includes safflower oleosomes for lasting moisturization with natural oils. Its smooth, rich formula absorbs quickly, leaving skin feeling soft with no greasy or oily residue.

      Enriched Skin Nutrition
      Repeated exposure to the winter elements can take a toll, leading to dry, cracked and dehydrated skin. A quality lotion that matches your skin type can help. Formulated by skin care specialists for dry, dehydrated skin, Remedy Dermatology Hand & Body Moisturizing Cream contains soothing antioxidants and vitamins that support skin nutrition. The fragrance-free, hypoallergenic cream goes on rich and thick but still absorbs readily into the skin to help it stay hydrated. The proprietary botanical blend of humectants, manuka honey, natural oil emollients, ceramides and botanical nutrition is also free of 80 of the most common allergens that contribute to skin sensitivity.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.