Consumer Real Estate News


    • How to Stop Sitting so Much

      23 November 2017

      Did you know that even if you run three miles every morning, it won’t offset the potential damage done by spending the next eight hours sitting at your desk? Some even say that sitting is the new smoking.

      According to the Mayo Clinic, too much sitting poses a wide range of health risks, including obesity, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, abnormal cholesterol levels and an increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer. Prolonged sitting also takes its toll on your emotional health, increasing anxiety and stress during the course of the day.

      But what are you to do if you have one of the myriad of jobs that revolve around a desk—compounded by more sitting behind the wheel and an hour or two in front of the TV at night? Here are some simple—yet hugely important—ideas to get you up and moving around throughout the day:

      Have a few calls to make? Stand up while you make them. Better yet, if you’re on your cellphone, do a little pacing while you talk.

      Do more in-person communication. Instead of shooting off another email or text, take a stroll over to your colleague’s desk to deliver your message in-person.

      Have walking meetings. Ditch the conference room and take a stroll to the nearest Starbucks for your next meeting. Or take a few laps around the nearest track.

      Get a standing desk. There are a lot of affordable options in this arena, including simple attachments that allow you to raise your desktop when you’d like. Or, if you can afford a splurge, opt for a treadmill desk.

      Never work through lunch. Even if it’s just a 20-minute break, get out and move around at lunch time. Run an errand or take a few laps around the parking lot. Inclement weather? Go browse the shelves at your local library, or at the very least, eat standing up in the break room.

      Set your phone alarm to remind you to get up and move at least once every hour, even if it’s just standing and stretching.

      Any kind of casual movement that gets you upright will help the effort. Your mind and body will thank you.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 5 Mindful Driving Tips

      23 November 2017

      Distracted driving rarely ends well. But with so much going on in your life (and your backseat), staying focused while on the road can be difficult. World champion drag racer Elaine Larsen of Larsen Motorsports knows all about the importance of focus while on the road.

      "It's all about common-sense driving techniques, awareness and proper maintenance," Larsen says. Below are her top mindful driving tips.

      Minimize distractions. For Elaine in her jet dragster, that means no talking into her headset; for the rest of us, that means no texting and driving and being mindful of other distractions like a blaring radio or friends or pets who have come along for the ride.

      Focus on where you’re going. Whether that means checking traffic conditions before you leave, monitoring road closures or construction, or even scouting your route in advance, familiarity with what's outside your windshield contributes to safe, more focused driving.

      Keep your windshield clean and clear, and keep an eye on what's happening down the street. That helps reaction time if something unexpected happens.

      Keep the inside clutter-free. Ever tried to put the brakes on with an empty soda cup stuck beneath the pedal? Be sure to have your insurance and registration paperwork within easy reach, as well.

      Before leaving, conduct a visual inspection. Tires properly inflated? Any loose parts hanging down? Headlight and taillight assemblies intact? You may also want to consider checking the terminals on your battery for corrosion.

      Source:  Florida Institute of Technology

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • For Parents and Grandparents: Fall-Proofing Your Home This Holiday Season

      23 November 2017

      Whether you're a new parent or grandparent, raising a young child is full of fun, excitement, and sometimes, safety scares. If you're expecting a crowd this holiday season that includes a little one, or if it's your first holiday with your own tot, below are a few tips from AAOS and the Orthopaedic Trauma Association (OTA) to keep safety scares and falls minimal.

      Reduce clutter. It's easy to accumulate clutter, such as boxes of décor and stacks of gifts from holiday shopping. Take the time to declutter your home, especially the hallways and stairs.

      Designate a play area. Children may receive lots of new toys for the holidays and scatter them around the house. It's important to contain those toys in a dedicated play area and clean up after playtime to avoid tripping.

      Keep walkways clear. Keep the path between your front door, driveway and mailbox well-lit and clear of debris.

      Install nightlights. Keep the halls/walkways in your home well-lit and consider a nightlight in the bathroom. A clear path is especially helpful for family members or guests who are trying to get to the restroom in the middle of the night.

      Secure all loose area rugs. Place double-sided carpet tape or slip-resistant backing on all loose rugs around your home. Don’t forget bathroom rugs.

      Rearrange furniture. Ensure no furniture is blocking pathways between rooms.

      Consider stair gates. If young kids will be visiting your home for the holidays, or you have children who live in your home, consider installing childproof gates at the top and bottom of your stairs to prevent children from accessing them without adult supervision.

      If a fall happens, do not panic. Take several deep breaths, assess the situation and determine if you’re hurt. If you’re badly injured, do not try to get up. Instead, call for help from a family member or neighbor. If you’re alone when a fall happens, slowly crawl to the telephone and call 911 or a relative.

      Source: AAOS and the Orthopaedic Trauma Association (OTA)

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Tips for Stretching a Small Living Room

      22 November 2017

      Some people see a small living room as a cozy, intimate space. Others say they simply feel cramped. For those who fall into the latter category, professional decorators offer the following seven tips for making any living area look more spacious:

      Clear out the clutter. Nothing makes a room look cramped like having too much stuff in it. Move magazines, collections and small décor items onto shelves, into drawers, or behind table skirts.

      Open the pathway. When furniture blocks the view into a room, the whole room looks smaller. Move the sofa out of the middle of the room and choose low profile furniture, like short sofas, low tables and armless chairs. Remember that less is more. Get rid of any pieces you don’t need, and place taller pieces against the wall rather than out in open space.

      Choose lighter hues. Warm, dark colors create a feeling of intimacy, while light, cool colors make any room seem more open and airy. For maximum effect, choose light shades of blue or green—or a combination of the two.

      Let the light in. Any room will look more spacious if it’s well-lighted, either naturally or with a bit of help. Get rid of draperies and add more lamps, or install track lighting or recessed lights.

      Try see-through pieces. By using materials you can see through, anything beyond them seems further away. Glass or lucite tops for dining or coffee tables will open up the view and make the room look bigger.

      Use reflective surfaces. A mirrored wall will make any room look larger. If that seems to be too much, try a large framed mirror on one wall to help create an illusion of space and light.

      Keep it monochrome. Select solid color upholstery instead of bold plaids or patterns. Use texture for interest and stick to neutral tones.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Heat and Air Maintenance for the Holidays

      22 November 2017

      With the holiday season right around the corner, your home will likely see more foot traffic. From friends stopping by with gifts, to parties and that yearly visit from the in-laws, your plumbing, heating and air units may be working overdrive.

      "Attention to a few items in the home can help prepare you for visiting family and friends during the holidays," says Mike Nicholson, owner of Nicholson Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning. "Now is the time to take action on winterizing certain things in and around the home. It will give you peace of mind as the weather turns colder and holiday guests visit your home."

      Nicholson offers these five tips to make sure the home is ready for colder weather and holiday visitors:

      Check the plumbing: With the influx of visitors, toilets and fixtures will get a lot of use. Now is the best time to take care of any maintenance and repairs. If drains aren't flowing well and freely, plunge water into the drain first before you try to remove the trap in an attempt to clear it. Be mindful that some do-it-yourself, chemical drain cleaners can be harmful to your pipes. Instead, consider trying a natural remedy: pour equal parts salt, baking soda and vinegar to clean out a partial clog.

      Tune up the heating: Winter often brings extremely cold temperatures, so you want to be sure your heating unit is working at peak efficiency. To make sure everyone is warm during the cold weather, try changing out your filters to give your system the best chance of success. You may also need a comprehensive heating system check. A system tune-up and filter replacement can go a long way toward preventing problems from putting a chill on your holiday plans.

      Clean air ducts: To provide fresh, allergen-free air to your holiday houseguests, you will want to perform a thorough duct cleaning. When your ducts are filthy, your filters clog up faster and force your system to work harder to distribute air. This decreased efficiency leads to higher energy bills and excessive wear and tear on your system. Removing the registers and vacuuming the outlet is a good start, but you may want to opt for a whole-house duct cleaning to really do the job.

      Seal drafty windows and doors: Applying caulk or weather stripping where cold air creeps in will help with energy savings. If cold air creeps in, that too will put a strain on the heating system's ability to keep your house warm and cozy for the holidays.

      Winterize the exterior: To prevent pipes from bursting, ensure outdoor spigots are shut off as freezing weather approaches. Have some rock salt on hand to de-ice sidewalks to make sure your holiday visitors are safe.

      Source: Nicholson Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning

      Published with permission from RISMedia.