Consumer Real Estate News

    • Marketing Matters: How to Start a Blog

      21 September 2018

      Whether you're a small business or just an individual with a unique passion you'd like to share, a blog can be a great way to connect with and expand your audience, and show off your voice and talent. Internet marketing agency Fishbat offers the following tips that will attract eyeballs and convert potential customers:

      Ask yourself what value you can bring to the world. With 2 million blog posts being published every day, yours has to stand out by providing value to the reader. Don't just speak at them, speak to them. Use your experience, industry knowledge and unique products to position yourself as a brand leader; educate the public and address any questions the readers might have.

      Pick a blog platform that's reliable and easy to use. The focus of building your blog should be the content not maintaining blog site itself. Find a blog hosting platform that doesn't require coding and makes it easy to get your blog up and running with templates and simple designs. That way, you can focus your time on creating great content rather than figuring out how to configure the blog.

      Define your target audience and write the content that they want. You should define some key elements of your audience before you write any content: what are their general ages? Interests? Pain points? Knowing these things allows you to craft content with a purpose, which is more likely to engage your audience and drive them to further action.

      Be consistent and don't get discouraged. Don't be disappointed if your blog posts aren't immediately getting a lot of traffic. You may have to put out content for a while and establish yourself as an industry authority before people notice and search algorithms pick up on your blogs. The key is to be consistent and keep putting out content; it will pay off down the road.

      Source: Fishbat

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • These Items Are Not Dishwasher Safe

      21 September 2018

      While the dishwasher is a magical place for deep cleaning a wide variety of household items beyond dishes, this method of cleaning is not safe for many of your beloved possessions, and can be harmful to many materials. Check out this not-for-the-dishwasher list from Martha Stewart:

      - Acrylic
      - Adhesive-joined pieces
      - Aluminum, including anodized aluminum
      - Antiques
      - Blown glass
      - Brass
      - Bronze
      - Cast iron
      - China with metallic decoration
      - Crystal
      - Disposable plastics not labeled "dishwasher-safe"
      - Flatware with bone, plastic, or wood inlays or handles
      - Gold-plated flatware
      - Iron
      - Knives
      - Many nonstick pots and pans (check manufacturer's instructions first)
      - Milk glass
      - Pewter
      - Rubber tools
      - Tin
      - Wooden spoons

      Martha also advises against crowding too many pieces into the flatware basket as this can cause scratching, and to never mix sterling or silver-plate and stainless-steel flatware in the dishwasher, as a reaction between the two metals can damage both finishes.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Caring for Seniors During Hurricane Season

      21 September 2018

      While many of us think of the safety of our family during natural disasters, older adults may require some unique precautions if a storm is on the way. Home Instead Senior Care recommends the following to help older adults and families prepare for a weather emergency:

      Make a plan. Communicate frequently to develop a plan of action for when unexpected weather hits. Be sure to discuss with people who are a key part of ensuring the safety of a loved one, such as neighbors, caregivers and friends.

      Tune in. Stay abreast of what's going on through your local radio or television station or emergency management office.

      Decide early. When deciding to evacuate, older adults should go sooner rather than later. Stay informed about whether evacuation is crucial. For older adults who require mobility assistance, waiting too long to evacuate can be a serious threat.

      Assemble a kit. An essentials kit will help avoid waiting in long lines for supplies. Have a kit packed and ready with things like food, water, flashlights, personal documents and other essential items. Have at least a one-month supply of medication on hand at all times. This is particularly important for seniors who rely on multiple prescriptions.

      Pack identification and other documents. Store important items - such as prescription information, car title registration and driver's license, insurance documents, and bank account numbers and a spare checkbook - in a waterproof protector. Also pack extra eyeglasses and hearing-aid batteries. Label every piece of important equipment or personal item in case they’re lost.

      Note all contacts. Compile a list of important contacts, including a loved one's support network, doctors and other healthcare professionals. The information can be recorded and kept in a free Home Instead Senior Emergency kit, available at

      Ask for help. If you don’t live near a loved one, enlist the help of family or friends, or contact a company that provides professional caregiving.

      Source: The Home Instead Senior Care network

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Financial Anxiety Takes a Toll on Millennials

      20 September 2018

      Unfortunately, the age-old edict of “education and hard work is all it takes to succeed” is no longer the case for many millennials, who are burdened by soaring tuition costs, student loan debt and stagnant wages. The trend has led to an increasing amount of financial stress among millennials, with 74 percent feeling daily stress related to their student loan debt, according to a recent survey from the American Financial Benefits Center (AFBC).

      The facts prove millennials’ anxiety is warranted. According to the AFBC, since 1980, the cost of higher education has risen nearly 260 percent, making it more difficult for millennials to pay off student loan debt compared to previous generations. Baby Boomers, for example, would have had to work 306 hours at a minimum wage job, adjusted for inflation, to pay for four years at a public college; conversely, millennials have to work an average of 4,459 hours.

      Millennials are also carrying 300 percent more debt than their parents, the majority of which consists of student loans. The AFBC reports that many millennials with student debt have a net worth of -$1,900; in other words, they owe more than they own. In addition to student loan debt, they are also burdened with rising housing and medical costs, and wages that don’t match up.      

      A large source of the anxiety surrounding the student loan debt is a lack of education and understanding, with many millennials reporting that they don’t know the details of their loans or how long it will take to pay them back. For millennials with federal student loan debt, income-driven repayment plans (IDRs) may be a helpful option to reduce some of the financial stress, says the AFBC. By taking into account a borrower's family size and monthly discretionary income, loan payments can be recalculated to what should hopefully be a more manageable amount.     

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Don't Wait for Winter to Service Your Boiler

      20 September 2018

      While late fall or early winter is the time most of us begin to crank our heat, if you’re using a boiler, it's important not to wait until the last minute to service it.

      "A lot of homeowners have good intentions when it comes to scheduling maintenance," says Mike Nicholson, owner of Nicholson Plumbing, Heating, & Air Conditioning. "The problem is that it's easy to forget things like tune-ups when your equipment is still operating correctly. It only becomes an issue when something breaks or fails. The last thing anyone wants is to be without heat when the temperatures are below freezing."

      According to Nicholson Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, homeowners should consider early tune-ups for the following reasons:

      Prolong the life of your furnace. Regular maintenance can keep your furnace working at maximum efficiency and actually lengthen the life of the equipment. Many homeowners might not know skipping annual maintenance can often void a manufacturer's warranty.

      Prevent frozen pipes. It's not unusual for homeowners to lower the thermostat while they're away from home. However, Nicholson recommends residents maintain a regular temperature in their home — around 65 — to avoid bursting or frozen pipes.

      Stay safe. Most furnaces are gas-burning, which produces carbon dioxide. A leak could prove dangerous or even fatal. During routine maintenance, a technician will take preventative measures to ensure this can't happen, such as changing the filter and giving the furnace a thorough cleaning.

      Source: Nicholson Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning  

      Published with permission from RISMedia.