Real Estate News

    • Slash Seasonal Home Allergies, Now

      20 March 2018

      As spring moves in, the sneezing starts. Red, itchy eyes and skin, and a constant cough. Sound familiar? If you suffer from seasonal allergies, the spring struggle is real. With spring approaching, Aire Serv offers its top tips for alleviating allergies in the home.

      - Start in the bedroom. The number of allergens that build up in your bedroom is tremendous, but it can be managed. First, encase your pillows, box spring and mattress in a sealed tight dust-mite-proof cover. This will prevent build-up in an area that your face is touching every single night. In addition, make sure to wash your sheets once a week to rid your bedding of any unwanted allergens.

      - Vacuum and deep clean the carpet present in your home. You should vacuum carpets at least once a week.

      - Choose furnishings that are easy and accessible to clean. With you and your family spending so much time in the living room, cleaning essential pieces of furniture will prevent your furniture from being a source of sneezes.

      - Remove unnecessary clutter. Old knick-knacks and piles of clutter will collect dust. Store items that you wish to save in plastic bins and store in your attic or a storage unit.

      - Open windows and allow for cross ventilation in your home. The air quality inside your home is usually much worse than outside, so allow the fresh air to come in and purify your home.

      - As much as we love to have plants indoors to spruce up our home, this can be an area for mold build-up. Find a new home for your potted plants or cover them with aquarium gravel to prevent mold growth.

      - Use a vented exhaust fan to remove cooking fumes and avoid moisture build up when cooking.

      - Having a hot, humid house is the perfect growth spot for mold and dust mites. Maintain a temperature of 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Replacing air filters monthly will also help with this problem.

      Source: Aire Serv

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Getting a Bump From the Tax Change? Put the Money to Good Use

      20 March 2018

      Earlier this year, the IRS released guidelines requiring employers across the country to apply new federal tax withholding tables to paychecks by February 15th. The U.S. Treasury estimates 90 percent of all payroll employees will experience higher take-home pay as a result. The monthly increase for a single person earning $50,000 is expected to be about $200.

      This increase is good news for those seeking to get ahead of debt, however, financial counselors at Money Management International (MMI) say consumers must put a plan in place. Credit card, student loan, and auto lending have reached all-time national highs, while personal savings is just shy of its all-time low, according to the Federal Reserve. A survey conducted by Pollfish suggests many consumers intend to use the extra money to pay down debt, but the tax break may also compel them to spend more.

      Experts warn that financial inertia and projected interest-rate hikes could impede borrowers' progress. Rising rates will increase minimum payments and the total cost of carrying debt, while curbing promotional-rate balance transfer offers. MMI notes the tax break is not permanent and encourages employees to view the tax break as an opportunity to formulate – and fund – an achievable plan to improve their financial health.

      Now is a good time to learn what your best options are for effectively reducing debt, so consult a financial advisor to find out what will work best for you. While it may be tempting to spend the increased income you may receive, assess your financial picture to see if those funds are better spent by paying down debt.

      Source: Money Management International

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • The Homeowner's Secret Weapon: Vinegar

      20 March 2018

      You’ve probably heard that vinegar can be used for a myriad of household purposes, but you probably never would’ve imagined some of the problems it can solve around the house. Check out some of these creative uses for vinegar from home improvement maven, Martha Stewart:

      Banish odors. Have a foul smell permeating a room? Fill a dish with a half inch of white vinegar and let it stand in the room until the smell dissipates.

      Get rid of rust. To get rid of rust build-up on a knife or pair of scissors, pour white vinegar over the blade then sprinkle it with coarse salt and rub with a cork. Rinse with water and wipe dry to prevent further rusting.  

      Make your whites whiter. Add anywhere from 1/8 cup to 1/2 cup of vinegar to the first rinse cycle of your laundry to boost the whiteness your white clothes.

      Wash your windows. For streak-free windows and mirrors, clean with a solution of one part vinegar and one part water.

      Clean your coffee maker. Get a fresher cup of coffee by filling the reservoir of your coffee maker with equal parts water and white vinegar. Let it run through several cups with this solution, then several more with just water before brewing your first cup of coffee.

      Prevent pests. To get rid of pesky ants, pour equal amounts of water and white vinegar into a spray bottle, shake, and spray in areas where ants often appear, such as crevices by your baseboards, cabinets and window sills. Also use this solution outdoors on your deck or patio and bring to your next picnic.

      Unclog the showerhead. Fill a plastic bag with undiluted white vinegar and submerge your shower head in the solution overnight, secured with a rubber band. Scrub with an old toothbrush the next day to remove all residue.

      Banish weeds. Spray weeds with vinegar instead of harsh chemicals. They’ll usually wither away in a day or two.

      Clean your shoes. Get rid of salt and water stains on leather and suede shoes by rubbing them with a paper towel dampened with vinegar.

      No more fruit flies. Fill a small container with apple cider vinegar, cover it in plastic wrap and punch a few holes in it with a needle. The flys will get trapped underneath the covering.


      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Planning Your Spring 'to Do' List? Don't Forget to Go Outside!

      19 March 2018

      I know it's warm and cozy doing your spring cleaning inside, but remember that spring cleaning plans should include a thorough walk around outside as well.

      The Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC (MMA) in Minneapolis tells homeowners that an early inspection and maintenance of their property is extremely important to prevent risk. To assist in that, MMA has compiled a checklist of things to inspect each year:

      Review the roof. The company suggests starting by inspecting your roof for broken or missing shingles and interior rafters for water stains. Most water stains will be found around or below an inadequately flashed chimney, skylight and other openings.

      Gutt the gutters. MMA says gutters are able to perform when kept clean, so remove dirt and debris from all gutters and downspouts.

      Look at lights. Lighting maintenance includes inspecting street lights, outdoor light fixtures, and indoor common-area lighting to promote safety and security. Make sure lights are clean and void of any dust, dirt or salt, which can result in lost energy and money. If lights are burnt out, think about replacing them with high efficiency CFL or LED bulbs.

      Don't miss the deck. When inspecting a deck or porch, look for peeling, splintering or rotting boards, and whether the wood is unprotected. If left unprotected, wood will soak up moisture and could lead to very serious damage. If a deck or porch needs to be resealed, clean it first with soap and water to clear off any mildew or mold, then after it is clean and dry, apply sealant, stain or paint.

      Take care of trees. Remove dead wood and broken branches from trees or bushes. Replant shrubs, bushes and/or flowers that have worked their way out of the soil, and rake the ground.

      Freshen with fertilizer. If necessary, add new soil, mulch and/or sod and lay fertilizer. Then, plant any new seeds or plants and implement a watering schedule.

      Patch potholes. Finally, MMA says spring is a great time to repair cracks and potholes. First, determine the source of the issue so you can address and fix the root of the problem. It is always best to make these repairs as quickly as possible to prevent any type of hazardous conditions.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Kickstart Healthy Habits

      19 March 2018

      (Family Features)--When it seems that everyone around you is feeling under the weather, you can be your own best line of defense against getting sick. Help ward off sickness for yourself and your family with these self-care tips that help promote healthy habits and fight off illness.

      Eat right. A diet that is rich in fruit and vegetables can give your body the immunity-boosting nutrients it needs to function properly. Avoid excess, empty calories and instead aim for meals that deliver a healthy balance of all food groups.

      Wash, wash, wash. Kids and bacteria go hand-in-hand, literally. Kids' hands are everywhere, including some surfaces that may be more susceptible to bacteria. Hand-washing is a simple way to encourage healthy habits all year round. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hand-washing is an important step to help avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others.  

      Get up and move. Exercise is one of your strongest weapons against illness. A regular routine that gets your blood pumping is good for overall health and your immune system. It can help flush toxins and keep your body in top condition.

      Just say no. When it comes to protecting yourself and your family, give yourself permission to draw hard lines about spending time with those who aren't feeling well. Reschedule play dates or other events that might unnecessarily expose your family to germs.

      Rest up. When your sleep schedule is off, so is your whole system, and that makes you more susceptible to illness. Everyone's precise sleep requirements are different; you'll know you're getting enough if you feel rested when you wake up. If you're not, and more overnight rest isn't realistic, look for ways to sneak in some extra rest time during the day.

      Enjoy the outdoors. Even when it's cooler than you'd like, brief time outdoors can do plenty to lift your spirits and, in turn, your overall well-being. The fresh air and vitamin D from a bright, sunny day are free and easy ways to give your body a boost and help ward off illness.

      Source: Softsoap

      Published with permission from RISMedia.