Consumer Real Estate News

    • Protecting Your Car During Storms

      16 October 2018

      Caring for your house and family aren't the only safety precautions you should take during a storm or natural disaster. You can also follow steps to maintain the safety of your vehicle.

      Bubbas Exotic Motorsports, located in south Florida and "ground zero" for many hurricanes, offers these Top 10
      safety tips.

      NEVER drive into floods. Even if you think you know the road on which you are traveling from many years of use: Don’t do it! Less than a foot of water can render a vehicle inoperable. Once the vehicle is dead, the undercurrent of the swiftly moving water is enough to easily take control of the vehicle and sweep it away. Water taken into a vehicle's air intake on a flooded road is sucked into the engine and that will immediately cause the vehicle to stop running and you are stuck. The same applies for trucks. Some manufactures put the important electronic control modules or brains under the back seats. If water gets into the interior of the vehicle, the electronics can immediately fail and you are stuck. Avoid driving through floods.

      Make sure your vehicle is fueled up and keep a couple extra cans of gas or diesel on board. Never let your vehicle sit and idle in a puddle of water that reaches the exhaust system as it can allow concentrated deadly fumes to enter the passenger compartment. And remember, it's not the odors you can smell that are dangerous, it's the ones you can't smell.

      Park your vehicle in a well-covered area like a garage at home or a parking garage. Never park under trees or power lines for the obvious reasons.

      Ensure all your documents like the registration, proof of insurance, etc. are sealed in a waterproof zip lock bag.

      Prior to the arrival of the storm, check to make sure all the fluid levels are good in your vehicle and most importantly your windshield wipers are clearing the windshield properly and not streaking because they are old and worn out.

      Before the storm hits, make sure all tire pressures are set properly. This plays a big role in your vehicle tire ability to displace water from the tread patterns on wet roads and provides for optimal handling during these conditions.

      Ensure your vehicle is equipped with a First Aid kit and keep dry clothes in the trunk. Include some money in a waterproof zip lock bag and a spare cell phone charger.

      If your vehicle is to be left outside, use duct tape and make a criss cross style pattern across all the windows to protect you if you are in the vehicle and the windows shatter.

      Take pictures of your vehicle before the storm so in the event any damage occurs you have proof for your insurance company.

      Finally, stay safe! If your gut tells you not to drive, don’t! There is nothing worth risking your life or the lives of others. The storm will pass and you will soon be out and about again.

      Source: Bubbas Exotic Motorsports

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 4 Benefits of Pet Adoption

      16 October 2018

      (Family Features)--Pets have an incomparable ability to improve owners' lives in a number of ways, so it's only right that pet parents do the same for them. That's why, if you're considering adding a pet to the family, adoption can be a great choice.

      Through pet adoption, you can not only help save dogs and cats from homelessness, but also have the opportunity to experience a lifetime of laughs, snuggles and memories.

      Consider these benefits of pet adoption from Mars Petcare.  

      1.  Gain a New Best Friend – When you adopt a pet, you also gain a friend to accompany you on life's adventures, a family member to share life's sweetest moments and a therapist to listen when you need an ear. Whether it's a dog, a cat or one of the many other types of four-legged friends, pets are the perfect sidekicks for activities like walks around the park or cozy cuddle sessions in front of the TV. They also offer comfort and unconditional love during life's happy moments and challenges.

      2.  Find the Right Companion for You – Shelter staff are often familiar with the animals, their personalities and their needs, which allows them to accurately match you with a furry family member that's compatible with your lifestyle. In addition, many adoptable animals are already spayed or neutered and up-to-date on their shots, meaning you won't need to make a large up-front investment. However, it's important to remember the necessary daily care costs – as well as the unexpected ones – that come with owning a pet. While costs may be lower when you adopt, pet parents still need to invest time and training in their adopted pets to make sure they are getting the love and attention they need.

      3.  Rescue an Animal – More than 8 million pets end up in shelters nationwide each year, a majority of which are ready to be loving pets or can be ready with veterinary or behavioral care. Through pet adoption, you not only gain a new family member, you can feel the joy of knowing you gave a pet in need a loving forever home.

      4.  Build a Strong Community – Pets are not only great companions for playing around in the yard, they also offer adoptive families a sense of community. Research from the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition found that pet owners report stronger social connections in their neighborhoods than non-pet owners and experience social benefits such as friendliness, helpfulness and trust between neighbors. Adopting a pet can also provide motivation that pushes you to get out of the house and increase your daily activity.

      Source:  Family Features Editorial Syndicate

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 5 Things to Do Everyday to Support Physical and Mental Health

      16 October 2018

      With busy, fast-paced, lives and living environments, it can be easy to forget to take care of ourselves. Below are a few things you can do to safeguard your physical and mental health.

      Call a friend. While our lives may be too busy to see our friends regularly, calling a loved one every day can help you feel a sense of community and belonging.

      Touch your toes. While hitting the gym or going for a walk are great ways to exercise, remember to stretch your muscles. At least once a day, take 5 to 10 minutes to stretch your limbs and get your blood flowing.

      Learn something new.  Just because you may no longer be in school does not mean you can't be learning. Every day, take 15 minutes to choose an interesting article to read, or listen to a podcast that can help you gain a perspective you may not have had before.

      Rest. Rest should not only occur when you sleep. Take time daily to do something soothing for yourself, like reading a book with a cup of tea, taking a bath, snuggling with a partner, or walking your pup.

      Journal. Spend 10 minutes a day writing down your thoughts and feelings. This is helpful to look back on later and gain insight and perspective. Don't like to write? Take photos, draw a picture -- something creative you can look back on to mark the passing of time.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 5 Steps to Incorporate Universal Design

      15 October 2018

      (Family Features)--As more homeowners opt to remodel their current homes for accessibility and safety, those concerns are taken into consideration especially for kitchens or bathrooms.

      Special considerations often should be made for those falling in the Baby Boomer age group, who especially should take into account the accessibility of their homes and improvements that can be made.

      Incorporate universal design strategies into your next remodeling project with this five-step guide from the experts at the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), which offers certification in universal design to provide contractors with the knowledge and training to ensure accessibility in kitchen and bathroom designs.

      1. Understand Your Needs
      Before starting any remodeling project, take the time to define your needs. Ask simple questions such as:

      - How do you live in your current home?
      - What health issues - current and future - should be considered?
      - How can a remodel help make your space safer and easier to use?

      2. Identify Structural Mobility Changes
      Mobility addresses the ability to move freely in a space. While mobility issues can impact older adults, it is not limited to only the elderly. While you might not need mobility assistance today, take a walk through your home and identify structural items that should be addressed, such as:

      - Widening doorways to 32-36 inches so walkers, wheelchairs or even large household items may easily move through
      - Removing thresholds that may create a tripping hazard

      - Expanding hallway widths to 36-42 inches
      - Well-lit hallways can improve safety

      Clear Space
      - Incorporating clear space, especially in front of kitchen appliances
      - Best practices suggest clear space of 30-by-48 inches to allow for easy access

      3. Safety First
      Stairs pose a considerable hazard for those with decreased mobility. Ensure the first level of your home provides space for sleeping, eating and has at least one full bathroom. Other safety considerations include:

      - Incorporating non-slip flooring surfaces
      - Removing the need to go up or down stairs
      - Creating well-lit rooms

      4. Kitchen Updates for Ease of Use
      Cabinets and counter heights, as well as the location of appliances, can improve the cooking experience. Other checklist items include:

      - Dishwashers in drawer units eliminate the need to bend over when loading or unloading
      - Push-button controls for dishwashers for easier use
      - Refrigerators with drawer unit options or side-by-side models
      - Ovens and microwaves placed in the wall at appropriate heights

      5. Bathroom Best Practices
      Adjusting counter and toilet heights are two ways to make bathrooms more accessible. Wall-hung toilets should be approximately two inches higher. A first floor or main floor bathroom should incorporate:

      - Structural bracing around the tub, shower and toilet for grab bars
      - Walk-in tub or curbless stand-up shower with no threshold
      - Levered handles for faucets
      - Adjustable showerhead

      Source: NARI

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Staying Connected During Disaster

      15 October 2018

      Many of us are constantly plugged in to our devices, so much so that when power or internet goes down, we forget how to find one another.

      Staying connected in any perilous situation – a car accident, getting lost, etc. – can be a lifesaver. Below are a handful of tips to help from TekDry.

      Tips For Staying Connected

      1. Memorize a few of the most important phone numbers in your phone. If you damage, lose your phone, or suffer widespread power outages and can't charge your devices, you will still have those crucial phone numbers when you get access to a landline or a borrowed phone.

      2. Write down and keep in your wallet or purse your family's contact information. You can almost always find a phone or borrow one if yours is lost or damaged. This is an especially good tip to keep in mind for newly mobile teens.

      3. Regularly backup your contacts to the Cloud so that you can access your data from another locale at another time (and you are not dependent on your phone alone).

      Published with permission from RISMedia.