Consumer Real Estate News


    • The Importance of Regular Immunizations for Heart Health

      3 October 2022

      (Family Features) While most parents are good at keeping track of vaccines their kids need to stay healthy, many adults don’t realize there are immunizations important for keeping themselves heart-healthy, as well.
       
      Adults, especially those with a history of heart disease or stroke, should take steps to stay up-to-date on preventive vaccines, particularly for the flu and COVID-19.
       
      Influenza – While many experience just a few days of aches and chills, the flu can be deadly for some, including young children, the elderly and those with chronic conditions like heart disease, stroke and diabetes. There has also been research linking flu infection to cardiovascular disease (CVD). Getting a flu shot can not only prevent the flu, it may also reduce the risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
       
      In fact, a study published in “Stroke” found that, among a group of people hospitalized for various reasons, those who experienced a flu-like illness within a month of their hospitalization were 38% more likely to have a stroke. Receiving the flu vaccine within a year prior to hospitalization lowered a person’s stroke risk to 11%.
       
      “Getting an annual flu shot should be part of routine health care for all individuals, especially for people who are already living with chronic health conditions that put them at higher risk for heart attacks or strokes,” said Eduardo Sanchez, M.D., M.P.H., FAHA, American Heart Association chief medical officer for prevention. “The potentially serious complications of the flu are far greater for those with chronic diseases. This is true not just for older people but even those age 50 and younger who have a history of high blood pressure, heart disease or diabetes.”
       
      COVID-19 – At the onset of the pandemic, the American Heart Association established the COVID-19 Cardiovascular Disease Registry, which found people with or at risk for CVD were more likely to become infected with and die from COVID-19. Additionally, the research found many people experience heart and vascular disease after getting COVID-19.
       
      A study from the registry published in “Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology” found new-onset atrial fibrillation in 1 in 20 patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Additionally, research also found people hospitalized with COVID-19 had a higher risk of stroke compared with people who had similar infectious conditions such as influenza or sepsis.
       
      “We can’t stress enough the connections between COVID-19 and cardiovascular disease,” Sanchez said. “There is clear evidence that people who have heart and vascular disease and even those with CVD risk factors are more likely to get COVID and to have more severe complications from the virus.”
       
      Other Immunizations – While flu and COVID-19 vaccines are of the utmost importance, there are a number of other immunizations that can help keep people heart-healthy.

      • The pneumococcal vaccination protects against a common cause of severe pneumonia and is especially important for people 65 and older, and others with certain underlying medical conditions. This type of pneumonia can be deadly, especially for people already at high risk for health complications, including CVD. One shot is usually good for several years, although you may need a second one later depending on your age at your first shot.
      • Shingles, a viral infection caused by the chickenpox virus, has been linked to an increased risk of stroke. More than 99% of people age 40 or older in the United States may carry the dormant chickenpox virus, also known as the varicella-zoster virus, and not even realize it. 
      Learn more about important immunizations and find other preventive health tips at heart.org.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 4 Home Upgrades for Pet Lovers

      3 October 2022

      Many homeowners love their pets as part of the family. If you feel that your furry friend deserves special consideration when it comes to home upgrades, you’re not alone. These four ideas are perfect for pet lovers who want to make their house a true home for their best friends.

      Purchase Pet-Proof Materials
      Even well-behaved pets can do a number on a fragile item. Between scratches, pet hair, slobber and accidents your home and furniture has to endure a lot when it comes to your pet. Ensure that you are looking for pet-friendly materials. Scratch-resistant flooring, stain-resistant fabrics and sturdy furniture should all be prioritized. Bonus? These choices can add value down the road, many families will love that their pets and children can play without risking too much damage to the space.

      Re-Landscape the Yard
      Pet-friendly yards are about more than a place to play with a fence. Cats and dogs are notorious for having reactions to common garden plants. Keep Fido and Tiger safe by evaluating the landscaping and avoiding any toxic plants. If necessary, it’s time to re-landscape to ensure a safe space for your pet.

      Add a Mudroom Dog Shower
      If your furry friend loves to play outdoors and has a tendency to create a mess, a mudroom shower may be worth the investment. A spacious shower located near your backdoor can make cleaning your pup a breeze, even in the cold winter months. This can be especially beneficial if you live in a muddy or sandy environment, and can even be helpful for small children who tend to trek a mess inside. In the summer, this can double as a great way for kids and adults to rinse off before or after hopping in the pool or hot tub.

      Create a Pet Hub
      This upgrade is inexpensive and can save you time and frustration on a daily basis. If you’ve ever lost your pet’s leash or waste bags right before a walk, you know the frustration of looking for the item while your pet is eager to go. Save yourself time by creating a pet hub. Fill a small coat rack with pet-specific items to ensure everything is right where you need it. Add a small basket with pet toys and keep your pet’s food and water bowls in this area to create a one-and-done space for everything your pet could ever use.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Warming Decor Ideas for Fall and Winter

      3 October 2022

      While seasonal decor may be the final cherry on top of a styled home, you don’t have to create a magazine-worthy space to enjoy the benefits of weather-appropriate decor. In the fall and winter, great decor can enhance the warmth and welcoming atmosphere. These ideas can help you curate a space perfect for the cold weather.

      Opt for Hygge
      This Danish tradition may not be as trendy as it was in past years, but there is no doubt that hygge decor is perfect for the cold seasons. Danes combine cozy blankets and rugs, twinkling lights and relaxing with friends and family to create a warming atmosphere. They also use transparent fabrics like chiffons on windows to ensure privacy and encourage natural light.

      Go Reversible or Transitional
      Fall and winter are host to a plethora of favorite holidays. Don’t be afraid to highlight your favorite holiday with transitional or reversible decor. Throw pillows can be an excellent way to feature holiday-specific patterns. When the holiday is over, simply put a new case on the throw pillow to ensure you can use it year-round. 

      Embrace Anything Plush
      From thick shag carpets and faux fur rugs, to plush and fuzzy blankets, embrace your plush options to guarantee that you stay warm from head to toe this year. Keep a basket next to your sitting areas to ensure that a warm blanket is always within reach, without cluttering your couch or chairs.

      Choose Rich Colors
      A rich and warm color pallet can bring an inviting and intimate quality to your space. Jewel tones like deep purples, rich burgendies and vibrant emeralds can all create a sensation of grounding and comfort. Just be sure to pair the colors with lighter more neutral counterparts to avoid creating too dark of a space.

      Use Texture
      Luxurious velvets, soft knits and even wispy chiffons all can complement each other to create the perfect cold-weather decor. Curate the perfect warming decor by utilizing a mix-and-match approach to fabrics in your home to ensure that plenty of texture is present.

      Curate Intimett Lighting Options
      There’s nothing cozier than an evening by the fire. If you don’t have a fireplace, create that same intimate lighting through candlelight or even strands of yellow or white Christmas lights. Alternatively, go modern and sleek by opting for faux candles. Many electric options look very realistic without the fire risk.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Do You Have Enough Life Insurance?

      30 September 2022

      Life insurance can provide financial security for your family after you pass away. Figuring out how much life insurance you need can be tricky. Even if you got professional help selecting an amount of coverage years ago, your situation may have changed since then, and the coverage you chose may no longer be enough.

      How Much Life Insurance Do You Need?
      It’s difficult to give a straightforward answer to this question because several factors can come into play and because every situation is different. If your spouse and/or children rely on your income, you should have enough life insurance to replace your income for a period of 10 to 15 years. Since inflation can erode purchasing power over time, you should take out a life insurance policy for an amount that exceeds that figure. That will create a buffer and ensure that your loved ones will have enough money to cover their expenses.

      Money from a life insurance policy can be used to pay off debts, including a mortgage, credit card bills and auto and student loans. Your life insurance policy should have a level of coverage that will allow your relatives to pay off any debts that are outstanding at the time of your death. Add in a buffer to cover interest and fees.

      Why Might Your Life Insurance Policy No Longer Be Adequate?
      Many people purchase life insurance when they are relatively young. It’s common for a couple to buy life insurance when they get married. If you took out a policy several years ago and based the coverage amount on your circumstances at the time, you should review your situation and figure out if you need additional coverage.

      If your income has increased, your family’s standard of living and spending have probably also gone up. A life insurance policy that was based on your circumstances five or ten years ago might not be able to cover your family’s living expenses today. 

      You may also have debts now that you didn’t have when you took out the policy, such as a mortgage, auto loan and credit cards. In that case, your family may struggle to pay those bills if your life insurance policy doesn’t cover them.

      Talk to Your Insurance Agent
      Even if you have life insurance, it may not be enough to protect your family after your death. As a general rule, you should review all of your insurance policies on a regular basis to make sure that your coverage suits your current needs. Get in touch with your insurance agent to discuss your circumstances and coverage and figure out if you need to make changes to your policy.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Where to Search for Free Moving Boxes

      30 September 2022

      Are you planning a move to a new apartment or house? If so, you could likely use some moving boxes to transport your belongings. Unfortunately, purchasing moving boxes can quickly burn a hole in your wallet. Here are some places you can go to get yourself some moving boxes for free!

      Visit Your Local Grocery Store
      Grocery stores are a great place to find large, recycled boxes. Because they regularly stock their shelves with bulk deliveries, they likely have numerous boxes in their stock room. Simply go into your town’s grocery store, big or small, and ask if they have any boxes you can take home with you. 

      Check Your Work Office
      If you work in an office that has constant deliveries, you may not have to go very far to find some boxes perfect for your move. Talk to your mailroom or managers and ask them to set aside a few for you to use for your move. 

      Ask You Local Liquor Store
      Just like a grocery store, liquor stores regularly get bulk deliveries. Whether it is a case of liquor, wine or beer, these deliveries often come along with large boxes. Ask the store owner if they have any to spare.

      Go to a Big Box Store
      Big box stores, such as Walmart or Home Depot, are constantly stocking their shelves, leaving them with plenty of spare boxes, especially of the larger variety. Start by calling their customer service line, explain that you are moving and looking for some boxes. 

      Search Online
      You can find pretty much anything online these days, especially on websites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. Simply search in the “for sale” categories, under “free” to find some great steals on almost every size box you’ll need.

      Moving, no matter how far, is a big undertaking that you can’t really avoid. Skip the expensive movers and save yourself some money to spend on items for your new home, or to cover upcoming bills, and check these locations to find yourself some free moving boxes.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.