Consumer Real Estate News

    • What’s Your Neighborhood Vibe?

      21 June 2018

      We all know that what makes a home perfect goes way beyond four walls and a roof. In fact, according to a survey from Ally Home, the majority of respondents believe a neighborhood's vibe is a critical component of calling somewhere home.

      But picking a neighborhood involves more than pinpoints on a map or statistics such as median home price. It encompasses a look and feel, or vibe. According to survey results:

      - Almost nine in 10 Americans surveyed (88 percent) say the vibe of a neighborhood is important in deciding where to live, with half of those respondents (49 percent) saying it is very important.

      - Four in five U.S. adults (80 percent) say their neighborhood has to fit their personality. In fact, more than four in five (82 percent) say if they didn't like their neighborhood, they would consider moving.

      - Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of respondents also said they would be willing to settle for a smaller house and/or pay a little more for a house in their perfect neighborhood.

      But what is America’s preferred neighborhood? Is it still the classic tree-lined street with white-picket fences? Not necessarily, says the survey:

      - More than one-third of Americans (36 percent) want that "Quiet and Quaint" life similar to the neighborhood depicted in the popular TV show "This Is Us": one with curb appeal, lots of friendly people, and no urgent need to lock the doors.

      - The rising participation of millennials in the home-buying market was reflected by nearly three in 10 (28 percent) survey respondents identifying with more of a "Modern Millennials" vibe: they prefer a neighborhood where they can walk to everything, with reasonably priced bars, restaurants, and coffee shops nearby.

      - Ample outdoor space is important to one-quarter of Americans (25 percent) who value being close to organic farms, farmers' markets and hiking trails, while 21 percent prefer a "Family Centric" neighborhood where families live in close proximity to one another and are close to schools and playgrounds.

      - Less important neighborhood characteristics included cultural attractions (15 percent of respondents); a tech-friendly neighborhood with good cell phone coverage and electric vehicle chargers (12 percent of respondents); or an upscale urban setting (9 percent of respondents).

      Does one of these neighborhoods sound ideal to you? Or maybe a place that combines features from each? Whatever your preference, when buying a home, make sure the neighborhood has a vibe that suits your lifestyle.

      Source: Ally Financial

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Battle Workplace Dehydration

      21 June 2018

      With stale, recirculated air, many hours spent seated, and a surplus of free coffee in the office kitchen, it's no wonder dehydration is a problem in the workplace. A recent Quench study found that more than three-quarters (77 percent) of those surveyed did not think they consumed enough water on a daily basis to meet their health needs.

      The national survey of more than 1,000 employed Americans found that the most frequently cited cause for not drinking enough water was lack of thirst (43 percent). However, thirst may not be a reliable sign of dehydration, and often only shows up after one is already parched.

      Workplace dehydration is a bad thing, as even mild dehydration can have a negative impact on productivity, energy level and alertness - all things needed for a good work day.

      While how much water you need to drink can vary from person to person, the general recommendation for someone with an average level of activity is eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day (64 ounces).  

      Below are a few suggestions for upping water intake during the day.

      For Employees:

      Find water you like drinking. Don't like room temp water? Grab ice from the office kitchen or bring a cold thermos stacked with cubes. Don't like still water? Grab zero-calorie seltzer. Need flavor? There are many brands of low to no-cal flavored waters. Stock up on your favorite.

      Track your progress. It's easy to forget how many glasses of water you've consumed each day. Keep eight pennies on your desk and move them from one side to the other for each glass.

      Swap out. If you drink soda or juice during the day, swap at least one drink for water to help boost your progress.

      Tips for Employers
      Quench offers three tips for workplaces to encourage employees to drink more water during the workday.

      Plan. Given concerns raised by employees about not having enough time to get water during the day, review floor plans to ensure that water sources are only a short distance from workspaces.

      Provide fresh, filtered, great-tasting water that doesn't run out.  Installing bottleless water coolers that connect directly to the building water supply and filter it at the point of use are a preferred option to large plastic jugs that are not environmentally friendly and must be replaced each time they're empty or the individual plastic water bottles that are expensive and create such environmental problems that many universities and towns now ban them entirely.

      Create engaging communications campaigns that encourage employees to get up, walk around and get a glass of water throughout the day, and promote a healthy workplace culture.

      Source: Quench

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • ​5 Tips to Take Pets on Trips

      21 June 2018

      (Family Features)--If your next big excursion is on hold until you can make arrangements for your four-legged friend, a solution may be closer than you think. Pet-friendly accommodations can be easier to find than ever, making it possible to simply take your pet along for the ride.

      According to a survey by travel website Orbitz, almost one-third of pet parents say they skipped a trip to stay home with their pet. In fact, 40 percent of survey respondents said they would travel more often if they had convenient, affordable pet sitting or boarding.

      If you can't find someone to watch over your furry friend, or you just don't want to, rely on these tips to travel with your pet in tow.

      Opt for Travel by Car

      Although several airlines now offer pet-friendly fares, traveling by car is often less expensive and allows you to keep your pet with you at all times. That puts you in control of necessities like food and restroom breaks and lets you create a comfy resting place for your pet to snooze while on the road.

      Seek Pet-Friendly Destinations

      According to the survey, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Washington D.C., Chicago and Houston top the United States for locations with the most pet-friendly hotels.

      Travel websites make it easy to find hotels that will happily accommodate your pet.  

      Consider Nearby Attractions

      Not only is a pet-friendly hotel a necessity, you'll also need to consider local attractions. A dog is likely to appreciate nearby parks and lakes for exercise and fresh air, but there may also be pet-friendly restaurants and venues in the city you choose to visit.

      Pay Attention to Reviews

      Fellow travelers have become one of the most valuable resources in contemporary travel. Their insight often helps set realistic expectations. Reading reviews and learning from others' experiences then adjusting your plans accordingly prior to your trip can help you plan a rewarding vacation for both you and your pet.

      Take Time to Call Ahead

      Even pet-friendly facilities have specific guidelines and expectations, so it's a good idea to call ahead to ensure everyone is on the same page. This also allows you to inquire about the availability of special amenities you may require, such as a litter box for a feline traveling companion.

      Source: Orbitz

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Safety Tips for the Year's Hottest Months

      20 June 2018

      When temperatures are at their highest, there is a wide range of health and safety we need to be aware of, says The National Safety Council (NSC), which provides

      comprehensive tips on how to stay safe in the summertime at nsc.org. In general it’s wise to stay hydrated and limit outdoor activity on very hot days. Apply sunscreen and wear loose, light clothing and a hat.

      But heat accidents can happen, and it is important to understand how heat affects our bodies and how to handle the most common heat emergencies:

      Heatstroke – Heatstroke occurs when the ability to sweat fails, causing body temperature to rise rapidly. The brain and vital organs may begin to be ‘cooked’ as body heat rises, and the damage may be permanent, even fatal. People experiencing heatstroke will have extremely hot skin and may appear to be confused.  If you suspect heatstroke:

      - Move the person to a half-sitting position in the shade

      - Call 911 for emergency medical help

      - Spray the victim with water and/or fan them vigorously

      - If humidity is high, apply an ice pack in the armpits

      - Do not give the victim anything to drink

      Heat exhaustion – Athletes and people who work outdoors are susceptible to heat exhaustion, which occurs when the body loses an excessive amount of salt and water. While less serious than heatstroke, the most common symptoms are fatigue, headache, nausea or vomiting along with profuse sweating, clammy skin or rapid pulse. If you suspect heat exhaustion:

      - Move the victim to a cooler or air-conditioned space

      - Give water or another cool, non-alcoholic drink

      - Apply wet towels and, when possible, have the victim take a cool shower

      Heat cramps – Heat cramps are painful muscle spasms, usually in the legs or abdominal muscle, that occur after vigorous physical activity when sweating causes decreased salt levels. In the case of heat cramps, have the victim:

      - Sit or lie down in the shade

      - Drink cool water or a sports drink

      - Stretch the affected muscles

      - Seek medical attention if the cramping lasts more than an hour

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 5 Ways to Cool Your House Without AC

      20 June 2018

      Struggling to make it through the summer without AC? The following hacks can help cool your space without wrecking your utility bills.

      Close drapes. Drapes may feel counterintuitive to cooling down your home, but pulling them closed in the sunniest hours can block strong rays from your windows and help stop your home from heating up. Better yet, snag light-colored blackout curtains and use those.

      Limit heat-producing appliances. Ovens are an obvious no-no in the summer months, but your hair dryer, flat iron and clothing iron can all make rooms - or at least, you - feel warmer.

      Frost your fan. This is more about cooling your body than your home, but it's lovely at night as you sleep, or if you're prone to sitting still at a desk for several hours. Grab a mixing bowl, fill it with ice or a frosty ice pack, and set it at an angle in front of a large box fan, pointed toward you. The fan will pick up the cool air and blow it right in your direction.  

      Dehumidify. While getting a plug-in dehumidifier will not necessarily cool your house, it will strip humidity from the air, which can help you feel more comfortable, and most models draw less energy than a window AC unit. Bonus: A dehumidifier will extend the life of your furniture, and can even help prevent wood floors and doors from warping over time.

      Reverse that overhead fan. Ahhh, the good old overhead fan trick. By setting your fan to run counter-clockwise in the summer, warm air will be pulled away from you.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.