Real Estate News

    • How to Help Siblings with a Large Age Gap Bond

      22 May 2020

      Many parents are raising children with a large age difference, which presents a series of unique benefits and challenges. Understanding how your kids are feeling, communicating clearly and making them all feel important can help your children form a strong bond.

      Benefits and Challenges of a Large Age Gap
      A wide difference in age can help older siblings learn patience and responsibility and become role models for their younger brothers and sisters. Parents may have more energy to devote to the needs of younger children and may get help from older siblings. An age gap may also mean less financial stress, since several kids won’t be attending daycare or preparing for college at the same time.

      A significant age difference can be challenging because of the vastly different needs of infants and toddlers compared to adolescents. It can be difficult for parents to accommodate the needs of older children, such as helping with homework and providing rides to extracurricular activities, if a younger child may need to eat, sleep or have a diaper changed at any time. Older kids may feel neglected or less important, which may lead to resentment.

      How to Help Your Kids Form Strong Bonds
      Talk to your older children about a younger sibling’s development. Explain that toddlers and elementary schoolers need time to learn to communicate and follow directions. Help older children be patient and understanding, but also allow them to vent if they feel frustrated.

      Encourage your older children to help take care of their younger siblings by assisting with feeding, changing, dressing and babysitting. An older brother or sister can be part of important developmental milestones, such as teaching a younger sibling to walk, talk and read. A young child may look up to an older sibling as a role model, which can give the older child a unique sense of pride.

      Your older kids may enjoy spending time with a younger sibling, but they’ll still need space and opportunities to pursue their own interests. Don’t place so much responsibility and such high expectations on older children that they feel like extra parents and become resentful.

      It may be hard to find fun activities for the whole family. A trip to the beach or an amusement park can offer opportunities for the whole family to spend time together, and older children may be able to enjoy some activities on their own while a younger sibling is eating or napping.

      Be sure to spend one-on-one time with your older kids to make them feel loved and valued. Positive relationships between older children and parents will contribute to a strong overall family bond.

      Make the Most of an Age Gap
      A large age difference offers an opportunity for siblings to form strong lifelong bonds. Help your older children understand the needs and perspective of a younger sibling and become role models, but make sure your older kids also feel free to be themselves and have positive relationships with other family members.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 4 Steps to Avoid Painting Fails

      22 May 2020

      A fresh coat of paint can give new life to a home. Whether you’re a seller aiming to impress potential homebuyers, or you just want to change things up, painting is an easy and effective way to revamp your home’s look for relatively cheap. That said, a bad paint job that results in uneven edging, stained floors or peeled paint can inadvertently make a home less attractive, making the whole effort counterproductive.

      According to HomeAdvisor, you can avoid common DIY painting problems by taking these four simple steps:

      Step 1: Choose the Right Paint. Most paint falls into two categories: water-based and oil-based. Water-based paint is easy to clean up, resistant to fading and works with different materials. Oil-based paint requires more cleanup and prep time, but works well for specialty jobs like painting wallpaper.

      Accidentally choosing water-based paint over of an oil-based paint—or vice versa—won’t ruin your painting job. But mixing outdoor and indoor paint will negatively affect the outcome of your project. If you’re unsure which paint to use, ask an employee at your local hardware store.

      Step 2: Prep Your Job. Many failed painting projects stem from a lack of preparation. Here’s how to prep like a pro:

      • Lay down drop cloths. Set up drop cloths first. Spills, drips and dust are inevitable during a painting project.
      • Spread your Spackle. Use Spackle or another paste product to fill in any holes or cracks in your wall.
      • Sand the walls. Gently sand your wall before applying any paint or primer. A rough surface will help your paint stick to the wall.
      • Prime the walls. Previously painted surfaces don’t need a primer. If you’re working with a raw or rough surface, such as concrete, wood, plaster or drywall, primer is necessary. After your primer has dried, sand it down before adding your finishing paint.
      • Tape off no-paint zones. Use painter’s tape to cover areas you don’t want to paint, such as trim, outlets and molding. Run a putty knife over your tape to eliminate any air bubbles.
      • Cutting in the corners. Cutting in means painting out several inches from your baseboards, window frames, outlets and door frames. Tackling hard-to-reach areas first will make it easier to paint larger areas later.
      Step 3: Use the Right Tools. Before you begin painting, research the tools you’ll need to complete your project. If you’re painting an exterior, you’ll be covering a bigger area. Larger rollers and paint sprayers will help you cover wider areas in less time. Outdoor painting also requires flat and angled brushes for cutting in and covering tight spaces. For indoor jobs, use flat and angled brushes to cut in tight spaces and smaller rollers to cover walls.

      Step 4: Paint the Right Way. Begin in the middle of your ceiling and move outward, painting from side to side. After your ceiling is dry, cut in around the ceiling line, windows, doors and moldings. Then, use your roller to paint the rest of your walls.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Benefits of Eating Dinner As a Family

      22 May 2020

      With the endless demands of work, school, errands, housework and extracurricular activities, it can be difficult for family members to find time to sit down, relax and talk to each other. But carving out the time to connect with one another can provide a wealth of benefits. In fact, studies have found that regular family dinners can contribute to many positive outcomes and prevent negative ones.

      Sharing Family Meals Can Help Kids Academically
      Eating dinner together offers family members an opportunity to engage in conversation about things going on in their lives, current events, as well as their hopes and plans for the future. The wide array of topics that may come up at the dinner table on any given evening can help children learn new words and ideas they may not have encountered in books or at school. While a broad vocabulary can help kids learn to read and express themselves, learning about new topics can keep them actively engaged in school, which will go a long way toward promoting academic achievement.

      Eating Together Can Establish Healthy Nutritional Habits
      Parents often put a good deal of time and planning into meals that the entire family will share, with a focus on nutrition and variety. When kids eat meals with their families, not only are they exposed to new foods, they also tend to consume more fruits and vegetables than they would if they ate fast food or hastily prepared meals. If children help prepare dinner, they’re more likely to be open to the idea of trying unfamiliar foods. When kids grow up and go off to college or live on their own, they’ll be more inclined to choose healthy foods and less likely to become overweight or obese.

      Family Dinners Can Help Kids Cope With Stress in Healthy Ways
      Sharing meals offers many social benefits. When family members sit down and eat together, free from the distractions of the television, cellphones and video games, they can actively engage, listen to what’s going on in each other’s lives and offer support, advice and empathy. These types of interactions can help children deal with stress at school related to academics and bullying, as well as problems and concerns in other areas of their lives. Knowing that they have the support of family members helps kids avoid harmful behaviors, such as substance abuse and eating disorders. Children who share regular family meals are less likely to become sexually active, depressed, or suicidal.

      Make Dinnertime a Positive Experience
      The atmosphere at the dinner table is much more important than the food served. No one will enjoy mealtimes if they’re associated with bickering, teasing, name-calling and criticism, but all family members will benefit from opportunities to express themselves and to share their joys, successes, doubts and worries in a supportive environment. The more often families eat dinner together, the greater the long-term benefits.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Reduce Your Risk of Another Heart Attack or Stroke

      21 May 2020

      (Family Features) After a heart attack or stroke, as many as 1 in 4 survivors will have another one. However, lifestyle changes and working closely with your doctor to manage your health may minimize the risk of a repeat event. Sticking to secondary prevention routines – by eating healthy, being active and taking medications as prescribed – is important as cases of COVID-19 increase.

      “A heart attack or stroke is a very scary experience, and people try to avoid revisiting that difficult time,” said neurologist Lee Schwamm, MD, chair of the American Stroke Association and professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School “Unfortunately, the risk of a repeat stroke is high, and lifestyle changes to reduce a person’s risk are almost always necessary to reduce those odds.”

      Up to 80% of second clot-related strokes and heart attacks may be prevented by making healthy choices. Consider these tips from the American Stroke Association’s secondary heart attack and stroke prevention initiative, sponsored nationally by Bayer.

      Blood Pressure: Work with your doctor to ensure you’re maintaining a healthy blood pressure level below 130/80. High blood pressure is both a leading cause and major risk factor for stroke and heart attack.

      Cholesterol: Medication and healthy lifestyle habits can help keep high cholesterol in check.  

      Blood Sugar: Having diabetes, which is caused by high blood sugar, more than doubles your risk of stroke. Some people have diabetes and don’t know it until a medical emergency happens. 

      Medications: If you are prescribed medications for high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes, make sure you take them as prescribed. If you had a clot-related stroke or a heart attack, your doctor may recommend aspirin to help prevent another event. Aspirin is not appropriate for everyone, so talk to your doctor before beginning an aspirin regimen.

      Smoking: If you smoke, stop. Smoking increases the risk of stroke and heart attack because it damages blood vessels, which can lead to blockages.

      Physical Activity: Being physically active at least 30 minutes a day, most days of the week or 150 minutes per week is recommended by the American Stroke Association.

      Even as COVID-19 cases strain emergency medicine, calling 9-1-1 still provides access to life-saving treatments for people experiencing medical emergencies like heart attacks or strokes. Emergency medical responders can assess symptoms, begin treatment and transport the patient to the most appropriate hospital, if necessary.

      Based on current information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it appears people 65 and older and people of any age with underlying medical conditions, such as heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes, are more likely to be infected and develop more severe symptoms. Stroke survivors may face increased risk for complications if they get COVID-19.

      Find more resources to help manage your risk at

      Know the Warning Signs for Strokes and Heart Attacks
      Even as COVID-19 cases strain emergency medicine, experts say calling 9-1-1 is still the best way to access life-saving treatments for people who are experiencing heart attack or stroke symptoms.

      Heart attacks and strokes are medical emergencies. If someone is experiencing stroke or heart attack symptoms, he or she should call 9-1-1. Emergency medical responders can assess symptoms, begin treatment in the ambulance and transport the patient to the most appropriate hospital, if necessary.

      Hospitals have plans in place to keep potentially contagious patients away from others and keep surfaces clean. Calling 9-1-1 and activating Emergency Medical Services (EMS) ensures you have the best possible chance to beat a heart attack or stroke. EMS can begin treatment in the ambulance and take you to the hospital best suited to care for you in an emergency.

      Stroke warning signs can be remembered using the acronym F.A.S.T.:

      • F – Face drooping
      • A – Arm weakness
      • S – Speech difficulty
      • T – Time to call 9-1-1

      Heart attack warning signs include:
      • Chest discomfort.
      • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body such as one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
      • Shortness of breath.
      • Breaking out in a cold sweat
      • Nausea
      • Lightheadedness

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How to Model Positive Behaviors for Your Kids

      21 May 2020

      Children learn by observing others around them, particularly their parents. Kids often imitate what they see adults do, whether it’s positive or negative. If you would like your children to be polite and respectful and to follow rules, demonstrate those behaviors in your own interactions with others.

      Teach Kids to Communicate Respectfully
      Children learn how to speak to others by seeing and hearing how their parents communicate with other people. If you want your children to say “please” and “thank you,” make a habit of saying those things yourself. If you want your kids to speak calmly, don’t raise your voice when you get frustrated. Explain how you’re feeling in words so your children can learn how to express their own feelings.

      Give Clear Instructions
      Positive directions are easier for kids to understand and follow than negative ones. Instead of telling your children not to do something, tell them what you want them to do. For example, instead of saying, “Don’t leave your toys on the floor,” say, “Put your toys away when you’re done playing with them.”

      Reinforce Positive Behaviors
      If you see your kids behaving in a way that you would like to see continue, praise them. Instead of making generally positive comments, tell them specifically what you’re happy to see them doing. This will help reinforce the good behavior.

      Assign Chores
      Kids can learn values such as responsibility and cooperation and build their self-esteem by having chores to complete. Even young kids can be assigned simple tasks, such as putting dirty clothes in the hamper and picking up toys. Seeing all members of the family pitch in and work together can make children feel included and important.

      Teach Your Kids to Keep Their Word
      Always follow through on promises. If you tell your kids that they’ll get a reward for cleaning their rooms, give them what you promised if they do a good job. If you tell your kids that they won’t get dessert if they don’t do their homework, don’t give in if they whine and complain. Your kids will respect you if they know they can trust what you say, and they will learn to say what they mean and mean what they say.

      Model the Behaviors You Want to See in Your Kids
      Children learn by observing others. They’re watching you and paying attention, even if you don’t think they are. The behaviors you model are the ones your children will adopt. Set a good example by demonstrating the way you want to see your kids behave, teaching them how to express their feelings in clear and constructive ways, assigning them age-appropriate levels of responsibility, and enforcing consequences to teach positive behaviors.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.