Consumer Real Estate News


  • How-To Save Your Back This Summer

    27 June 2017

    Summer is the season of fun. But with gardening, yard work, travel and all of those outdoor activities, many end up in the doctor with a back injury before fall. To help, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons offers the following tips:

    Use proper lifting techniques when moving heavy objects such as luggage and furniture. Be sure to lift heavy items with your legs, not your back. Position yourself close to the object you want to lift. Do not bend over to pick up heavy items. Keep your back straight and bend at your knees.

    Get help. Do not attempt to lift or move heavy objects on your own. Get help from family, friends or hire someone to help you.

    Use smart packing techniques and pack lightly. When possible, place heavier items in a few smaller bags or boxes instead of one large item.

    Take breaks. If you're traveling, be sure to give yourself a break from sitting in the same position for too long. The same goes for doing a chore. Make time to stretch in between tasks.

    Maintain good posture. Maintain good posture throughout your flight or car ride.

    When sitting, keep your back in a normal, slightly arched position. Make sure your chair supports your lower back. Keep your head and shoulders upright.

    Minimize falls.  

    Wear properly fitting shoes with rubber, non-skid soles. This is important for both traveling or working outdoors, as certain shoes increase your chances of falling.

    If you're working outdoors, secure hoses, rakes and other garden tools from your workspace to avoid tripping over those objects.

    Pets want to enjoy the outdoor weather just as much as you do. When doing projects outdoors with pets, consider placing a bell on your pet so you can locate them easily and know when they are near your feet to minimize a potential tripping hazard.

    SOURCE: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

     

    Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • Do You Want an ‘Age Friendly’ Community?

    27 June 2017

    America's rapidly growing number of age-friendly communities is encouraging states, others cities, towns, and rural areas to prepare for the rapid aging of the US population by paying increased attention to the environmental, economic, and social factors that influence the health and well-being of older adults.

    The age-friendly communities network was launched in April 2012 and operates under the auspices of the World Health Organization’s Age-Friendly Cities and Communities Program.

    According to AARP, well-designed, livable communities promote health and sustain economic growth, and they make for happier, healthier residents, of all ages.

    Age-friendly or livable communities have features such as walkable streets, housing and transportation options, access to key services and opportunities for residents to participate in community activities.

    Grantmakers in Aging (GIA), a nonprofit comprised of philanthropies dedicated to improving the experience of aging, conducted a study to understand what principles would contribute to sustainable age-friendly efforts.

    Beyond simply funding an effort, these principles outline five key characteristics that, when incorporated into age-friendly efforts, provide a primer for local action. The guiding principles, which are addressed in detail by a report titled "Guiding Principles for the Sustainability of Age-Friendly Community Efforts," include:

    - Building public will by identifying and developing potential champions; fostering citizen commitment; addressing misconceptions of aging and older adulthood; communicating broadly; and celebrating accomplishments.

    - Engaging across sectors by connecting with a variety of sectors, initiatives that benefit a wide range of ages and constituencies,and regional planning organizations - and inclusively embedding age-friendly efforts in established organizations and programs.

    - Securing resources by identifying a backbone organization to drive age-friendly efforts; leveraging partnerships for non cash resources; and seeking diverse funding sources for start-ups and demonstration projects

    - Finally, advancing age-friendly public policies, practices, and funding by being alert to sustainable funding streams; embedding age-friendly goals and strategies into municipal, regional, state and federal planning documents; and working with municipal, regional, state, and federal governments to adopt policies and practices that make communities and regions good places for people of all ages.

    Learn how to get your community designated by visiting: aarp.org/livable-communities/

    Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • Save On Utilities While On Vacation

    27 June 2017

    We all like to save a little money, but many of us don’t consider saving money while on vacation. However, if you tweak some settings in your home before you jet off to your next adventure, you can return home to a small bundle of savings on your utilities. Below, Georgia Power lets us know how.

    Think about the Thermostat – If you have a programmable thermostat, use the vacation mode if available, which will conserve energy while you're away and make it easy to return to regular settings with the touch of a button. If using a manual thermostat, simply turn the thermostat up a few degrees which will deliver substantial savings.

    Prep the Pool Pump – Pool pumps can use a significant amount of energy when running constantly. Operate pool pumps the minimum number of hours needed to keep the pool clean and invest in a timer to control hours of operation. Also, consider using a pool cover for additional energy savings.

    Time the Lights Right - Timers are an easy way to save money by scheduling lights to power on and off during set timeframes. In addition to energy savings, this strategy adds security by making it appear as if someone is home.

    Keep the Sun Out – While on vacation, close all drapes, curtains and blinds to block sunlight, which can heat up your home drastically. Be sure to keep air vents clear of obstructions.

    Stock the Fridge – A fully stocked refrigerator stays cold better than an empty one, as the cold items will help keep each other cold. Conserve additional energy by adjusting the thermostats to 38 degrees for the refrigerator and five degrees for the freezer.

    Source: www.GeorgiaPowerMarketplace.com.

    Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • Finished Renovating? Now It’s Time to Tackle the Mess

    26 June 2017

    Completing a home renovation project is so exciting. The new space or enhancement you’ve been dreaming about for months is now a reality.

    But what about that mess? Nothing quite compares to the post-construction havoc a renovation can cause in your home. According to the ServiceMaster blog, your primary focus should be removing the dust created by just about every home improvement project, which has an insidious way of sneaking into the most random nooks and crannies. If dust isn’t dealt with promptly, it will make its way into your air ducts creating a health hazard for you and your family.

    ServiceMaster Clean® offers the following checklist to get through the construction clean-up process quickly and effectively.

    Vacuum Carpets and Upholstery
    Vacuum all soft surfaces, removing and vacuuming each cushion and getting into the crevices of the furniture frame. It’s probably a good idea to give it a second round, too.

    Wipe Down Hard Surfaces
    Clean surfaces from the top down, starting with the dust that has accumulated on your walls. Dry dusting will ensure paint and wallpaper won’t be damaged, but a damp cloth will remove dust faster. Check with your paint or wallpaper manufacturer to see if it will tolerate a little moisture and test a small area to be safe.

    Next, move onto moldings and cabinets using a duster. Make sure to target the interior shelves and hard-to-reach corners. Wipe off countertops and any other flat surfaces before tackling the floor. Then sweep and mop the entire surface area.

    Clean Air Vents and Replace Filters
    If your project is of a larger scale, it’s likely that dust has made its way into your vents. Treating the air vents in the renovated area is critical for preventing the dust from spreading to other areas of your home. Here’s how:

    - Remove the vent covers from the surrounding walls and ceilings
    - Clean each one with soap and warm water, and let them dry thoroughly
    - Replace any exposed air filters with fresh ones before replacing the vent covers

    Don’t Forget About the Little Things
    Remember, dust gets everywhere, so remember to clean these areas as well:

    - Ceiling fan blades
    - Light fixtures
    - Lamp shades
    - Electronics
    - Small appliances
    - Decorative items

    Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • Six Tips to Deep Clean Your Garage

    26 June 2017

    On your list of summer to-dos may be cleaning out the old garage. For most, this sounds easier than it actually is. Garages tend to house years of accumulated and forgotten items, especially if you have a large family. Clearing all of this out is a serious job. Below are six tips to help you make the most of the big clean out.

    Pick a date. To avoid procrastination, choose a hard date on your calendar for your garage clean out. Depending on the size of your garage, a full weekend may be in order. Tell your family members about the date to make sure they will be around to pitch in.

    Gather your resources. Stock up on large trash bags, visit your local grocer’s for discarded cardboard boxes and--if you have enough lurking in your garage--consider calling your county’s waste management service to see if you can order a dumpster. 

    Ask for help. Do you need to borrow a friend’s pickup truck to lug your unwanted items to the dump? How about a power washer to clean the floor once it’s clutter-free? Line these things up in advance for easy cleaning.

    Pile it right. At the start of your clean out, create three piles: to keep, to sell, and to donate. As you come across items in your garage, add them to their respective area and keep moving.  Once something has landed in a pile, try to resist temptation by moving it around.

    Organize, organize, organize. Set yourself up to re-organize your space once it’s squeaky clean. Do you need more shelving units? Hooks and bins? Gather these items in advance.

    Power wash. Once you’ve organized, move every item out of your garage and power wash the floors and walls. Washing away a decade (or more!) of grime will really help your garage sparkle.

    Published with permission from RISMedia.