Real Estate Tips

    • Sunny Summertime Safety: Tips for Enjoying the Great Outdoors

      27 June 2022

      (Family Features) A bright, sunny day offers opportunities for warm-weather fun. To make the most of your summer, you’ll need to take a few steps to enhance the experience and ensure you’re ready for whatever the day may bring.

      When it’s time to head outside, consider these tips from the experts at CURAD® to protect your body (and skin) from the elements this summer:

      Protect Skin From UV Rays
      Any time you’ll be outdoors for more than 15 minutes, you should wear protective sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, even if it’s partly cloudy or overcast. One mistake many people make is applying sunscreen before they leave the house then not reapplying throughout the day. To help protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays, reapply sunscreen at least every two hours and more frequently if you’re swimming or sweating.

      Also be sure to cover all exposed areas, including often overlooked spots like the tops of your ears, neck and tops of your feet, if they’re exposed by sandals or other open shoes.

      Stay Hydrated 
      One of the most important ways to protect your health when you’re spending the day outdoors is staying hydrated, especially on warm days when you’re losing your body’s water reserves to sweat. Drinking plenty of fluids, especially water, throughout the day can help replenish what you lose so you don’t get dehydrated, and you’ll also have an easier time regulating your body’s temperature.

      Be Prepared for Cuts and Scrapes
      Summer cuts and scrapes are to be expected, but the faster you can take care of them, the faster you can get back to having fun. An option like CURAD Kendra Dandy Adhesive Bandages can help you heal in style with a four-sided seal that keeps dirt and germs out and a non-stick pad that’s extra absorbent. Designed by Dandy, a renowned artist and illustrator, these fashion-forward bandages are made with a comfortable, stretchy material that conforms to your body for maximum protection. Available in a 30-count standard-sized strip and a 50-count variety pack, these eye-catching bandages feature trendy, one-of-a-kind pineapple, papaya, banana and dragon fruit designs that can add a little fun and flair to your summer wardrobe.

      “We created our Kendra Dandy designer bandage line to add a splash of fun, color and flair to our classic adhesive bandages, offering consumers thought-provoking styles that add a great feeling to empowered healing,” said Kim Washington, Medline vice president of marketing.

      Repel Bugs 
      Aggressive insects can put a damper on outdoor fun. Bug spray or roll-on products should go on top of your sunscreen, but never under your clothes. Apply a sparing coat to all exposed skin and clothing, paying special attention to your waistband, pant and sleeve cuffs, collar and socks. Rather than applying spray directly to your face, spray the palms of your hands then rub the repellant onto your face. Be sure to wash your hands afterward to avoid accidentally transferring spray to your mouth or eyes.

      If you have sensitive skin or prefer not to use spray or roll-on for other reasons, products like repellent fans or wearable repellent bracelets may be good alternatives. Some essential oils are also natural bug repellents.

      Don’t Forget Your Lips 
      While faces, necks, arms and legs are often top of mind to protect from the sun’s rays, lips can be easy to forget. However, using a lip balm that is rich in oils, beeswax and petroleum can help seal in moisture. Similar to sunscreen, lip balms featuring SPF should be reapplied every two hours when outdoors and often offer added moisturizing benefits. Available in a variety of flavors, some even taste good enough to leave you wanting to apply them over and over again regardless of if you’re venturing outside or not.

      Wear Light Clothing 
      When it’s hot outside and you’re engaged in physical activity, you’re at a greater risk of overheating. Dressing for the climate, while also protecting yourself from the elements, should be a top priority. If the temperature will vary throughout the day, consider layering so you can warm up or cool down as needed. Lighter clothes that don’t add weight are a good idea, and it’s important to be conscious of the fit. Ideally, clothes should be loose enough to allow for easy, comfortable movement, but not so baggy they get in the way or pose a snagging or tripping hazard. Don’t forget accessories like a hat and sunglasses, which can protect your head and eyes.

      Support Summertime Injuries
      Twisted ankles are one of the more common summertime injuries, especially for hikers or runners who may stumble over rocks or curbs, and even weekend warriors playing pick-up basketball or softball games. Keeping an ankle support on-hand can help stabilize a sprain or provide extra support during recovery. If you do experience a mild injury, it’s important to choose a high-quality product, like CURAD Performance Series IRONMAN ankle supports and braces. With options available to support both mild and moderate ankle injuries, they offer a rugged yet comfortable design to wear on the field, in the gym, at work or out on the town.

      Find more tips and resources to take care of your body this summer and beyond at CURAD.com.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How to Make Moving as Stress Free as Possible for Your Pet

      27 June 2022

      Moving can feel overwhelming to members of your family, but you may not realize how the controlled chaos is affecting your pet. Here are some tips to help your pet cope with the changes.

      Comfort Your Pet While You’re Packing
      Let your pet get used to boxes and other packing materials before you actually start the packing process. An animal can pick up on your emotional state and will react accordingly. While you’re packing, talk to your pet in a cheerful voice so it doesn’t get stressed out. If you feel frustrated, anxious or overwhelmed, take a break to unwind. Be sure to pet and play with the animal from time to time during the packing process.

      Make Your Pet Feel Safe
      Animals feel safe when they know what to expect. Keep your pet’s routine as consistent as possible, both before and after the move. Obviously, there will be some disruptions, but the more you can keep things the same, the smoother the transition will be.

      On moving day, put your pet in a safe place. If you’re moving locally, ask a friend or family member to take care of your pet so you can get settled a bit before you bring them into the new house. If you’re moving a long distance, you will have to transport your pet with you. Make sure that the place where the animal will be staying or the carrier or crate that they will be transported in is familiar before the day of the move to avoid creating additional stress. 

      Bring along essentials, such as food and water bowls, bags for waste and any medications your pet needs. Give your pet some objects that make them feel safe, such as a blanket, toys and treats, and speak to them in a calm and reassuring voice. 

      Help Your Pet Settle Into Their New Home
      When you get to the new house, set up a safe, relatively quiet place for your pet right away. That may mean putting their bed in a quiet room or putting the animal in the laundry room with the door shut while you begin unpacking.

      Let your pet adjust to the new house gradually. Depending on their personality, it may be a good idea to walk through the house and explore together, or it may be better to allow your pet to venture out on their own and retreat to a safe space if they feel overwhelmed. 

      If you have a dog, take it for walks around the neighborhood so they can get used to the new sights, sounds and people. Pay attention to their reactions and demeanor and return home if they seem frightened or stressed. 

      Anticipate and Respond to Your Pet’s Needs
      Animals can be frightened by change. Do as much as you can to comfort your pet before and after moving day. Pay attention to how your pet is responding and make adjustments as needed to help them cope.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • What to Do About Scratched or Dented Stainless Steel Appliances

      27 June 2022

      Scratches and dents in stainless steel appliances may not affect the way they function, but your eyes, and those of your guests, may be drawn to them immediately. Fortunately, there are some relatively easy ways to address those issues.

      How to Fix Scratches
      If your stainless steel appliance has a light scratch, a non-abrasive cleaner may get rid of it. Use a damp cloth and apply liquid cleaner to it. If you’re using a powder, combine it with some water first to create a paste. 

      Wipe the cleaner back and forth over the scratch, in the direction of the grain, then wipe the area clean with a damp cloth. Repeat, if necessary, until the scratch is gone. Then apply some stainless steel polish or olive oil. A light coat is all you need.

      If that process doesn’t work, try a whitening toothpaste, which is mildly abrasive. Rub it on with a toothbrush and follow the same process as above.

      If your stainless steel appliance has a deep scratch, you may be able to sand it out. Lightly rub sandpaper back and forth along the grain. It’s important to keep both the appliance and the sandpaper wet the whole time. 

      If that doesn’t work, try a coarser grit of sandpaper. After you get the scratch out, use a finer grit of sandpaper to blend the repaired area in with the rest. Then wipe the area with a wet cloth, dry it and apply a thin layer of stainless steel polish or olive oil.

      Ways to Get Rid of Dents 
      If your stainless steel appliance has a dent, you can use a dent-puller (often used to remove dents from cars). You can find one at a local automotive parts store. Your bathroom plunger may also do the trick. 

      Wipe the dented area with a damp cloth, attach the dent-puller or plunger so there’s a firm seal, then pull it off. The suction cup should pull out the dent. If it doesn’t work on the first attempt, keep trying. You may have to get a tighter seal or change the amount of force you use. 

      If a store near you sells dry ice, you can put a piece of it in the center of the dent and leave it on long enough for the stainless steel to freeze, contract and return to its original condition. Be sure to wear gloves.

      Another option is to use a can of air duster. You may already have one that you use to clean your computer. First, use a hair dryer to heat the dented part of the appliance. Then turn the can of air duster upside down and spray the dent. It will release chilled carbon dioxide, which will act in much the same way that dry ice does. Make sure the room is well ventilated before you do this.

      Sometimes, one of these strategies will only yield partial success. You may have to experiment with a combination of approaches to get a dent or scratch out of an appliance.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How to Hang Wall Art Like a Pro

      24 June 2022

      Hanging artwork is an art form in itself. Too high or too low can throw off the dimensions and design of an entire room. Whether you want a simple frame, a statement piece or a gallery wall, you want to ensure that your artwork is hung properly, securely and adds a touch of your personality and style without disrupting the room’s aesthetic. If you choose to take on this task without help from a professional, here’s some steps that can help you.

      Choose the Right Size
      Are you planning to hang a piece of artwork behind your couch or over your bed? How about down the hallway or in the kitchen? No matter where you plan to display your artwork, you want to be sure the size fits the space and everything in it, like furniture or architecture. 

      Plan the Positioning 
      One of the most important factors in interior design is planning. And this includes not only the artwork itself, but how and where you plan to hang it. Cut paper or cardboard to the same size and dimensions of your artwork. This trick can help determine where the piece will best fit or how to position a gallery wall. 

      Select a Hanger
      Nails, hooks and wires...oh my! With different options for hanging artwork, it is important to remember the size and weight of the piece, as well as the type of wall you want to place it. For heavier frames, a wire and sturdy nail (or multiple nails) is the way to go. For lighter frames or canvas prints and paintings, consider a smaller nail and anchored hook. 

      Hang at Eye Level
      You never want to hang your artwork too high or too low. However, finding an eye level that meets everyone’s requirements is tough, as some people are taller or shorter than others. The average human eye level, however, is about 57 inches from the floor. If you place the center of a painting at this height, it will likely be the most pleasing to the aesthetic of a room.

      You don’t have to be an interior designer or an engineer to figure out the right way to hang your artwork. Though it does take some mathematics and an eye for design, you can bring aesthetic and style to your home with ease. 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How to Help Your Children Buy a Home

      24 June 2022

      With student debt looming and career paths constantly changing, the financial situation for a lot of young adults is tough. If your kids are in their 20s or 30s and still haven’t purchased a home, maybe you would like to help them. For those who can’t afford to give their adult children the entire cost of a home, there are options available to assist them financially in the home-buying process.  

      Let The Live With You...Temporarily
      If your children are trying to save up their paychecks for a down payment on a home, but the cost of rent and utilities are too high for any legitimate savings, invite them back home temporarily. This can relieve their financial burdens and significantly help them boost their savings quickly. 

      Loan Them Money
      If you’re financially able, you can loan your child money for a down payment, closing costs and other home-buying fees. Be sure to establish terms and conditions, as well as expectations for repayment and interest. The IRS requires that you charge at least the applicable federal rate, or AFR, if this is not a gift. Have legal documents drawn up as needed. 

      Gift a Down Payment
      If instead of a loan, you choose to give them the money with no repayment expectations, you can give the gift of a down payment. To do so, write a mortgage gift letter for them to submit with their application stating that they do not have to pay you back. This will increase their chances of being approved for a mortgage.

      Co-Sign or Co-Borrow a Loan
      If your child has questionable credit history or is overrun with debt, you can apply for the mortgage with them as a co-borrower or co-signer. This can increase their chances for being approved for a mortgage, just remember that you will share mortgage payment responsibilities. You will have to repay the loan if your child defaults on a payment.

      If you are unable to assist your children in the home-buying process financially, you can always teach and guide them. If you have purchased a home in your life, share your experience and any helpful tips you may have. Also, get them in touch with a trustworthy and experienced real estate agent to help them better understand what they need to take this important financial step.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.