Real Estate News

    • Helping Your Child Connect With Nature

      24 November 2020

      Amid growing environmental concerns at a time when group activity is curtailed, encouraging your child to bond with nature can achieve two important goals, researchers say.

      According to a recent study by North Carolina State University, solitary outings and shared outings with parents help children to not just understand and enjoy nature, but to build respect and personal concern for preserving natural resources. 

      Preschoolers on a walk outside can identify flower colors, inspect insects, and collect and trace fallen leaves.
      Older children can benefit from picnics in the park or in a wilderness area. They can do a soil test, create a wildlife habitat, learn to identify trees and shrubs and research their contributions to the environment.

      Hiking, fishing, skiing, surfing and other outdoor sports are far more than a source of fun, researchers note. They boost physical health and emotional well-being and, especially when paired with parental questions and input, they inspire in children of all ages a connection to and an interest in nature and the environment.

      Now, with screens taking up more of your child’s time than ever, health experts agree that it’s critical for parents to provide opportunities for outdoor activity and nature study.

      Set up a treasure hunt - Make a short list of things for younger kids to look for outside, such as a smooth rock, something green or something that grows on a bush.

      Schedule sidewalk activity - Skating, bicycling, skateboarding or scooter-riding are great ways to keep kids moving.

      Plan a camping trip - Spend hours or days in a mountain or seashore environment. Talk about the difference between pets and wild animals. Talk about how things grow, about keeping the environment safe and about how tides work.

      Try photography - Older kids can use a phone, but even young children can use a simple camera to photograph things in nature. Talk about the plants, animals or seashells they captured. Frame a few of their best photos and put the rest in scrapbooks. 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Top DIY Outdoor Projects You Need to Know

      24 November 2020

      Keeping your home looking its best can require learning a lot of new skills. If you want to boost your curb appeal without breaking the bank, here are the top DIY outdoor projects you should know.

      Reseeding the Lawn
      You don’t want to go through the expense of installing sod simply because your lawn became slightly patchy. Instead, learn how to grow grass that will make the whole neighborhood envious. The grass truly is greener on your side.

      Building a Raised Garden Bed
      Whether you’re hoping to create a prized vegetable patch or simply want to grow your favorite blooms, there’s no better way to create structure for your curb appeal than a few raised beds in your yard. Select the wood, stone or brick of your choice and get to work to create a cohesive feel.

      Build a Window Box
      You don’t have to be a master builder to ensure that this simple project turns out well. Give the exterior of your home a facelift with a few well-placed window boxes and some vibrant flowers. This easy project is sure to make your home look great for years to come.

      Make a Trellis
      A garden trellis is a must-have for any plants that need to climb. They add needed structural support for those plants and also give your outdoor space visual interest in the form of additional height. Go simple and make a garden trellis of wood and lattice or shoot for a more elaborate mixed-medium trellis.

      Power Wash Your Driveway
      A good power wash can do wonders for the appearance of your home. Power washing your home’s siding or your driveway can take years off the look of your exterior. Removing dirt and grime can be just as visually impactful as a new coat of paint, for far less cost.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Top Signs You Need to Replace Your Water Heater

      24 November 2020

      Water heaters are a household appliance that many homeowners don’t think about until it’s too late. This is a mistake, because like many vital home features, your water heater’s life and effectiveness are directly related to how actively you perform basic maintenance. Unfortunately, there will always be a reason to replace your water heater entirely. Here’s what to look out for so you don’t find yourself wading through a leak.

      Your Water Heater is Too Old
      Most water heaters last between eight to 12 years depending on the manufacturer, type and how well they have been cared for. Check on the front of your water heater to find its rating plate; this will reveal important information. The serial number contains the year the water heater was manufactured and the model number will tell your water heater’s size. If your water heater is more than 10 years old, you should start thinking about a replacement.

      Strange Noises
      If you hear a hissing or sizzling noise coming from your water heater, you likely have sediment build-up that must be addressed. If you haven’t maintained your water heater properly, the sediment could have caused damage by slowly overheating the bottom of your tank.

      Leaks are the most obvious sign that your water heater is past its prime, but it is still worth mentioning. It might be tempting to ignore a small leak, but this is highly unsafe. It’s vital that you replace your water heater immediately upon discovering a leak. Since leaks are likely the result of pressure built up in your tank, neglecting a leak can lead to a tank explosion. 

      Rusty Brown Water
      If your water supply suddenly looks murky, rusty or brown, you could be facing a problem with your water heater. This problem could mean one of two things: the anode rod within your tank is rusted or your tank is facing corrosion and is itself beginning to rust. You’ll need to replace a corroded tank as soon as possible.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Eat and Drink Smart to Fend Off Cold and Flu Season

      23 November 2020

      (Family Features) It’s no secret that a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and veggies can deliver important vitamins and nutrients for better health, but many of your favorite foods can actually help support your immune system, too.

      In addition to precautions like avoiding people who are sick and washing your hands often, you can influence your immune system through what you eat and drink.

      Stay hydrated. Keeping well hydrated can be difficult during the winter months, especially if you spend most of your time indoors. A warm drink like this flavorful Orange Spiced Tea provides a strong dose of vitamin C along with a delicious dose of hydration.

      Keep the produce going strong. Fresh, seasonal fruits and veggies often come to mind during warmer months, but produce like citrus, leafy greens and root vegetables are plentiful during cold and flu season, too. 

      “Consuming the whole fruit is the best way to ensure you gain the maximum nutritional benefit,” Dr. Poonam Desai said. “When speaking with patients, I recommend seeking nutrients like vitamin C from whole food sources, rather than supplements, especially with a vitamin C-rich fruit like California oranges.”

      Get a natural boost of vitamins. Vitamins A and C, found in fresh citrus, are two key nutrients that support your body’s natural line of defense, your immune system. Just one orange offers 90% of the daily recommended value of vitamin C, and California Navel oranges are in their peak season – just in time for the height of cold and flu season. 

      Get inspired with more ideas to boost your immune system with essential vitamins and nutrients at

      5 Ways to Get More Vitamin C
      Pick heavy fruit.
      When shopping for citrus, choose fruit that smells fresh and feels heavy for its size. The heavier the orange, the juicer it’s likely to be.  

      Explore versatility. Fresh citrus like California Navel oranges make a nutritious addition to sweet and savory dishes, beverages, cocktails, sauces and more. 

      Use the whole fruit. Reduce food waste by consuming the flesh, juice, zest and peel. Try squeezing juice and grating zest into a smoothie, using orange segments for a vibrant salad or combining diced Navels with red onion, cilantro and jalapenos for a zesty salsa. 

      Retain vitamin C content. Vitamin C is water soluble, so to retain as much as possible, eat citrus fresh, avoid overcooking and use minimal amounts of water. 

      Refrigerate for longer shelf life. Keep your citrus fresh longer by storing it in the refrigerator at a temperature below 42 F. To get the most juice out of the orange, bring it to room temperature before cooking.

      Orange Spiced Tea
      Recipe courtesy of California Citrus Growers

      • 6 cups water
      • 1 clove cinnamon or 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
      • 6 tea bags 
      • 1 cup California Navel orange juice
      • 1/2 cup white sugar
      • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
      • 1 slice California Navel orange

      Bring water and cinnamon to boil; let cinnamon dissolve. Remove from heat and add tea bags; soak at least 5 minutes. Remove tea bags.  

      In a separate pan, bring orange juice, sugar and lemon juice to boil. Stir until sugar dissolves.

      Pour juice mixture into spiced tea.

      Garnish with an orange slice and serve hot.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Five Tips for a Hassle-Free Moving Day

      23 November 2020

      Moving vans are criss-crossing the nation in great numbers these days, as consumers take advantage of historically low mortgage rates to upgrade their living space and grab their piece of the American Dream.

      The New York Times reported recently that moving companies are so busy, they are turning people away, and in most areas of the country, movers need to be booked way in advance of your moving day.

      But the big day will arrive sooner than you think and you’ll want it to go as smoothly as possible. Moving professionals offer five tips for ensuring that it does:

      List last-minute chores. You’ve spent weeks sorting, packing and preparing for your move, but certain tasks cannot be accomplished in advance, like emptying and/or cleaning out the fridge and freezer, getting kids or pets to scheduled sitters, or taking out the last of the trash. Making a list will make it easier for you to check off last-minute needs.

      Prepare a go-bag. Pack a box or suitcase with stuff you’ll need on moving day or the day after, as well as documents and valuables you don’t want to load onto the moving truck, such as phone chargers, toiletries, medications and an extra set of clothes for each family member. For a long journey, you may also want to fill a small cooler with water and healthy snacks or pre-made sandwiches.

      Leave out basic cleaning supplies. You’ve likely done a thorough house cleaning by now, but once the furniture and packed cartons are gone, you may see dirty areas you didn’t notice earlier. Keep rags or paper towels and a few basic cleansers handy for tackling dust bunnies behind the now-gone sofa, or grime where the fridge once stood.

      Do one last walk-through. Anything left behind may be difficult to retrieve later, so open all kitchen and bathroom drawers and cabinets, bedroom closets, coat closets and any other built-in areas where items may have escaped notice. 

      Have some cash on hand. While a credit card can cover unexpected stops for lunch or other purchases, you may want to have cash to tip your professional movers. Such tips are not mandatory, but if they’ve done a good job, consider tipping $20 per helper.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.