Consumer Real Estate News


    • Fresh, Healthy Family Meals

      24 January 2022

      (Family Features) Chef Nate Appleman knows how important it is to serve healthy meals to your family – ones they actually want to eat. Before having his first child, he transformed his eating and exercise habits and lost 85 pounds to get on a healthier path.

      Now, he’s cooking meals for his family, including 14-year-old Oliver who was diagnosed with Kawasaki Disease as a toddler – an inflammation of the blood vessels that can cause damage to coronary arteries – as a healthy lifestyle is important to help manage the disease. Since Oliver’s diagnosis, Appleman made it his personal mission to create awareness of Kawasaki Disease and for the critical need for plasma donations that many people with the disease rely on for treatment, which is why he partnered with Abbott to bring attention to the need for plasma donations.

      Plasma is a powerful part of your blood that supports essential bodily functions. It’s a lifeline for thousands of people who are immune-compromised and live with a variety of chronic and complex diseases. In fact, more than 125,000 Americans rely on medication made from plasma every day, according to the Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association (PPTA).

      The COVID-19 pandemic led to a serious shortage of plasma donors – average donations per center in the United States were down approximately 11% during the first few months of 2021 compared to the previous year, further deepening the nearly 20% decline in donations in 2020 compared to 2019, according to the PPTA. 

      Donating plasma is a safe and relatively easy process. Since plasma is replaced in the body within about 24 hours, it can be donated up to twice per week. With a donation that typically takes between 1-3 hours, you can make a lasting impact by providing lifesaving medicine for patients like Oliver.

      It’s a good idea to fuel up with iron-rich foods before and after donating, so Appleman created these fresh, nutritious recipes he loves to serve his family: Lemon Chicken with Roasted Red Onions and Potatoes, and Cheesy Frittata with Veggies.

      Learn where you can donate at bethe1 donor.abbott.

      Lemon Chicken with Roasted Red Onions and Potatoes
      Recipe courtesy of chef Nate Appleman on behalf of Abbott

      Lemon chicken:
      1 whole chicken, cut into eight pieces
      1 ounce minced garlic
      1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
      1/4 teaspoon paprika
      1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
      1/4 teaspoon ground fennel seed
      1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
      1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
      1 tablespoon kosher salt

      Potatoes:
      2 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
      salted water
      oil

      Cauliflower:
      1 head cauliflower
      salted water
      ice
      2 tablespoons mayonnaise
      1 teaspoon tamari or soy sauce
      1 tablespoon chopped parsley

      Roasted onions:
      1 red onion
      salt
      oil

      For serving:
      3 ounces pitted Castelvetrano or green olives, cut into quarters
      5 ounces wild arugula
      1 lemon, quartered

      To make lemon chicken: Marinate chicken in a mixture of minced garlic, granulated garlic, paprika, smoked paprika, fennel pollen, dried oregano, coriander and salt; let sit overnight.

      To make potatoes: Boil potatoes in heavily salted water until tender. Cool, peel and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks. Toss with oil to coat; reserve.

      To make cauliflower: Cut cauliflower into florets and blanch in salted water 1 minute; shock in ice bath. Remove from ice and dry. Toss with mayonnaise, tamari and parsley; reserve.

      To make roasted onions: Preheat oven to 450 F. Peel onion and slice into 1-inch rings. Toss with salt and oil; roast until slightly caramelized with texture. Chill and reserve.

      Preheat the oven to 450 F.

      Bake chicken on a sheet pan for approximately 15 minutes. Add potatoes and cauliflower. Bake approximately 15 minutes then switch the oven to broil for approximately 10 minutes.

      Squeeze lemon over reserved onion.

      When chicken is crispy and reaches an internal temperature of 165 F, remove from the oven and add onions and olives. Plate chicken, potatoes, onions, olives and cauliflower on top of arugula and garnish with lemon.

      Cheesy Frittata with Veggies
      Recipe courtesy of chef Nate Appleman on behalf of Abbott
       
      Roasted garlic:
      2 heads garlic
      olive oil
      salt

      Frittata:
      oil
      2 medium leeks, sliced
      8 ounces blanched, chopped broccoli
      salt, to taste
      9 eggs
      2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
      2 ounces grated Parmigiano Reggiano
      2 tablespoons heavy cream

      To make roasted garlic: Preheat the oven to 400 F.

      Slice 1/4 inch off entire heads of garlic and place cut sides down in a 1-liter casserole dish. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt; cover with lid.

      Bake 35-45 minutes until heads of garlic are soft and light brown. Let cool then use the back of the knife to squeeze garlic from the pods.

      To make frittata: Lower oven to 375 F.

      In a saute pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook leeks until soft; add broccoli then season with salt, to taste, and remove from heat.

      In a mixing bowl, mix roasted garlic, sauteed leeks and broccoli, eggs, parsley, Parmigiano Reggiano and cream; place in a 9-inch pie dish and bake approximately 20 minutes until the top of the frittata is brown. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before cutting and serving.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Home Hair Salons: A Growing Trend in Luxury Residences

      24 January 2022

      For those who truly love to be pampered, you’ll be pleased to learn that hair salons are an increasingly popular feature in luxury homes. After all, if you’re going to have a professional-grade fitness area and wellness facilities, then you might as well complete the package and have everything you need to look your best. For those who are thinking that a hair salon might be the perfect addition to their home, here’s everything you need to know about this trend. 

      Benefits of a Salon
      It seems like everyone is at the mercy of an overpacked schedule these days, which makes it difficult to find the time for a trip to the beauty salon. Nevertheless, it can feel like you’re constantly trying to squeeze an appointment into your day, whether it’s a routine haircut and highlights, a quick manicure or a blowout before you go out for the evening. If there’s one surefire way to simplify this part of your life, it’s installing a hair salon at home. In addition to convenience, you’ll absolutely enjoy the privacy when trying out a new hairdo or inviting some friends over for an evening of being pampered.

      Designing Your Dream Space
      If you already have the perfect space in your home picked out, then all you’ll have to do is figure out which features are right for you. Whether it’s incorporated into the master suite or located in your finished basement, the most important thing is designing a home salon that’s suited to your regular routine and treatments. This can be as simple as installing a stylist chair in front of a well-lit vanity or you can go big with a hair washing basin, manicure and pedicure stations and a central vacuum system that makes it easy to sweep up after getting a trim. Of course, you might also want to make sure that your favorite hairdresser is willing to make house calls before you do anything!

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • The Importance of One Last Walk-Through

      24 January 2022

      When you finally sell your house, there’s an air of relief. All the stress of waiting for offers and negotiating is gone and you can now move on to the next real estate chapter of your life. But before you can officially say “so long” to your house, you need to take part in a final walk-through. 

      In essence, before everyone goes to sign the final closing papers, all parties will meet at the house for a final walk-through to ensure that nothing has changed in the time between agreeing to the deal and the closing date. 

      Real estate agents will tell you that often they need to slow their buyers down when going through the final walk-through. Most buyers are eager to get the process over so they can sign their name and move in, but a good agent will have them understand all that needs to be done.

      Most walk-throughs are done the day of the sale, usually a few hours before the scheduled closing, but some people prefer to do a walk-through earlier so if there is an issue, it can be fixed in time.

      Among the things that need to be done during this process are making sure all items have been removed from the basement, attic and garage; testing all appliances to make sure they are in working condition; testing the air conditioner and heating unit; running faucets and checking for leaks; and examining anything else that was in the contract that the seller was supposed to fix.

      For appliances and HVAC units, ask the seller to provide receipts and warranty information in case something does go wrong.

      Although it’s not a requirement, sometimes buyers choose to bring their home inspector to the walk-through, which costs about 25 percent of the original fee, but could be worth it if major items were supposed to be fixed.

      If a problem does present itself, especially a serious matter that could cost thousands of dollars, a buyer can either get their real estate lawyer involved and have them try to work with the seller’s lawyer on a proper settlement, or leave it to their agent to work on renegotiation. 

      Often, a buyer can get a credit from the seller through a side document to deal with the problem or an escrow of the sales proceeds. If the seller isn’t willing to work with you, you may need to threaten to walk away.

      Of course, that’s the last thing anyone wants, and in 99 percent of these cases, an amicable solution is usually worked out.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Make Safety a Priority for Winter Travel

      21 January 2022

      (Family Features) As more and more Americans hit the road and return to traveling this winter, concerns around road safety are top of mind.

      Nearly half of Americans (47%) plan to travel in the next six months, according to a survey by 3M. A majority (76%) plan to travel by car, but more than a third of travelers are as concerned about road safety as they are about contracting COVID-19.

      “Especially after spending an extended period closer to home, many people are likely to have some trepidation about getting back out on the road,” said automotive expert Lauren Fix, “The Car Coach” and 3M spokesperson. “Being conscious of issues like visibility and distracted driving are important ways to protect yourself and your passengers.”

      Consider these tips to enhance the safety of your winter travel.

      Before You Go
      Check your tire pressure and the condition of your tread. Properly inflated and adequate tires can keep you safe on the road, especially in slick conditions.

      Visibility is important so you can see the road and other drivers. Make sure you have properly functioning wiper blades and carry extra washer fluid. Check your headlights to ensure they both work and your lenses aren’t hazy.

      Use your GPS to help you plan the best time to leave for your road trip, avoiding the major rush hours.

      Make sure your car has an emergency kit and replenish any items you have used in the past. Include a first aid kit, blanket, drinking water, flashlight, reflective triangles and a reflective vest to keep you visible to other vehicles if you are working on your car on the side of the road or need to walk to get help.

      While On the Road
      Keep your focus on the road and stay off your phone. Also be aware of the other vehicles and drivers around you.

      Use GPS to re-route around construction or congestion. If you do come across construction, be sure to keep a close eye on the roadway signage and markings as they can help you navigate the complex roadways safely.

      If you find yourself driving in bad weather and visibility is an issue, pay attention to road markings to keep yourself oriented to the roadway. If you have no visibility, pull over.

      Find more road safety information at 3M.com/news.

      Recognize Road Safety Markings
      Reflective signage and high-visibility pavement markings, along with innovative systems and services, help make roadways and other vehicles more visible to drivers. You can count on safer travel this winter with road safety solutions such as: 

      Traffic signs: Studies have found that where highly visible signs are installed, crash numbers have fallen up to 46% within 3-6 years. Reflective sign sheeting, ink and overlays increase visibility and driver recognition of these signals. In foggy and wintery weather, fluorescent yellow street signs have also been found to be more easily visible.

      Pavement markings: Pavement markings help guide drivers and keep roads safe. In dark and wet conditions, standard reflective pavement markings can disappear. Reflective technology like the options from 3M make road markings visible from longer distances and in wet conditions.

      Traffic delineators: Navigating complex or changing roadways can be confusing and dangerous for drivers. Specialized delineation systems are used for construction projects, median barriers and guardrails, putting roadway information directly in sight of drivers and making it easier to navigate roadway complexities.

      License plates: License plates need to remain visible on any roadway and in all conditions, ensuring law enforcement can quickly and effectively identify vehicles. By providing vehicle registration solutions and advanced license plate manufacturing equipment, 3M partners with motor vehicle agencies and manufacturers around the world.

      Vehicle markings: Government regulations call for conspicuous tape on certain types of large vehicles and trailers in the United States to increase visibility and help prevent traffic collisions, injuries and deaths.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Reusable Items That Will Save You Money for Years to Come

      21 January 2022

      Reusing things you use often instead of using them once and then throwing them away will not only benefit the environment, but will save you some cash, too. 

      Here are four reusable items that will more than pay for themselves in savings. 

      Shopping Bags
      A plastic bag has a lifespan of 12 minutes from when it’s initially filled with groceries at the store to when it’s discarded when you get home, according to Reuse This Bag. These bags can take 1,000 years to decompose. 

      That’s why many states and countries have banned plastic bags, requiring a fee to purchase a paper or reusable bag in the store. To get around such fees, you can bring your own bag to a store, grocer, restaurant or anywhere else that you need to lug something home from. 

      Canvas bags are often giveaways at events or cost a few dollars at the store. Keep a handful in the trunk of your car and get in the habit of carrying a few with you. You’ll never have to pay for a bag again. 

      Water Bottles/Thermos
      The Container Recycling Institute estimates that more than 60 million plastic bottles end up in landfills and incinerators every day. Buying water in plastic bottles is also expensive, so think ahead and fill a reusable water bottle each morning to save you time and money daily. 

      The same goes for a thermos to keep your morning drink hot. Even if you’re going to a coffee shop to buy coffee, ask the barista to fill your thermos. You might get a small discount for not using the store’s cup and you’ll be putting fewer coffee cups in the trash. 

      Cloth Napkins
      Using cloth napkins instead of paper will save you money in the long run and will also help the environment. Washing and drying them requires some expense, but it shouldn’t be much more if you throw them in with a regular load of laundry. 

      Silicone Stretch Lid Covers
      Another kitchen item that will save you money? Silicone stretch lid covers that fit over bowls, glassware and jars. You won’t have to buy plastic wrap or aluminum foil again, plus, the eco-friendly lids will probably stay on better than wrap or foil. 

      The stretch lids can go in the refrigerator, freezer or microwave oven without being damaged and can be tossed in the upper rack of a dishwasher for easy cleaning. 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.