Consumer Real Estate News

    • Space Heater Safety Tips

      22 October 2021

      During the colder months, many families throughout the country rely on space heaters to help heat their homes. However, if not used properly, the devices could pose a serious fire risk.

      According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Committee (CPSC), portable electric heaters are involved in about 1,100 fires per year, resulting in about 50 deaths, dozens of injuries and millions of dollars in property loss. Taking this one step further, the National Fire Protection Agency notes that 32 percent of home heating fires involve space heaters, resulting in about 80 percent of home heating fire deaths in the U.S.

      To help keep your family safe, warm and cozy, the CPSC offers the following tips for using a space heater:

      • Install smoke alarms on every floor of your home, outside all sleeping areas and inside each bedroom. Test the alarms once a month.
      • When purchasing a space heater, make sure it has a safety seal of a nationally recognized testing laboratory such as UL.
      • Keep curtains, sofas, beds, clothes, papers and other flammable materials at least three feet away from the device. This includes the front, sides and rear of the heater.
      • Before using your space heater, make sure it’s placed on a stable, flat surface in a location where it can’t be knocked over.
      • To reduce the risk of fire, don’t use extension cords or power strips with your space heater.
      • Don’t run the heater’s cord under rugs or carpeting. This can damage the cord, causing it and nearby objects to burn.
      • Be sure the heater plug fits tightly into the wall outlet. If not, don’t use that outlet to power the heater.
      • If the heater plug, cord, wall outlet or faceplate is hot when the space heater is in use, turn it off and have a qualified electrician come inspect the unit.
      • Make sure to turn the heater off when leaving your home or heading to bed at night.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 3 Ways to Live a More Sustainable Life With Your Pet

      22 October 2021

      (Family Features) Many people around the world are opting to live greener and more sustainable lifestyles. Feeling good about the future can lead to more thoughtful practices with your pet, and it just takes a few simple steps to make the shift toward eco-friendly pet parenting and reduce your carbon pawprint.

      One of the main responsibilities eco-conscious pet parents face is making sure their dogs and cats are happy and in good health, while carefully striking the balance between their pets’ needs and sustainable practices.

      Every step you take toward protecting the earth can add up for the environment. Consider these tips and tricks from KARMA® pet food to live a more conscious lifestyle with your furry companion. For more information on how to lead a more earth-friendly lifestyle, visit KARMAPetFoods.com.

      Choose Sustainable Options
      There are many ways to lead a more environmentally conscious lifestyle with pets. Look for collars, leashes and bedding made from recyclable plastics or sustainable materials like bamboo or hemp. This simple step can significantly reduce the amount of pet-related plastic bound for landfills.Try an Environmentally Conscious Dog Food

      When your pet eats healthy, it can lead to a happier life. When looking for a plant-first food, it’s also important to choose one that supports strong, lean bodies and provides high-quality protein to nourish their whole-body vitality, such as KARMA Balanced Nutrition. It offers a balance of whole grains, healthy fats and protein, crafted with more than 60% plants, plus real chicken or white fish. Plus, the packaging is recyclable through a partnership with TerraCycle, and it’s crafted at a site committed to zero waste to landfills. Purchasing dog food or products that can be recycled or repurposed can help reduce the environmental footprint that much more.

      Scoop Poop with Purpose
      Dog waste left unattended can be more than just an annoyance on your afternoon walks. The bacteria from leftover waste can be harmful to plants, animals and other people. Always be sure to pick up after your pets and try using biodegradable bags, rather than plastic ones, to reduce the amount of plastic going into landfills.

      SOURCE: Karma

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How to Find Quality Movers

      22 October 2021

      Hiring a moving company is one of the most important decisions people make when buying or selling a home. Nightmare stories abound about movers that show up hours late, break or lose items, or whose estimates aren't accurate.

      Thankfully, there are things you can do that will increase your chances of finding a reliable moving company while avoiding the bad ones. Here are some key ways to be sure you find the right moving company for you.

      Read the reviews. One of the great things about the internet age is that you can find reviews for just about any business. Go to sites like Yelp that review businesses and see what people have to say. Don't let one bad review turn you off, and consider what reviewers are complaining about because some people are unreasonable.

      Get referrals. Referrals are different from reviews because they come from people you know. Perhaps there's someone who recently moved to your neighborhood, ask them if they recommend their movers. Or maybe a co-worker of yours recently moved. You can also reach out to friends on Facebook. Your local chamber of commerce or the Better Business Bureau are also excellent references.

      Get options. Talk to more than one moving company, even if the first one seems perfect. And consider factors beyond pricing—cheapest isn't always the best. And when discussing cost, ask what factors might change an estimate.

      Make a checklist. There are definite warning signs to look for when choosing a mover. First, be sure the company you hire is properly licensed and insured. Don't take estimates over the phone or via email, there's no way a mover can give an accurate price without actually looking at your belongings. Poorly maintained websites and an unwillingness to work out a flexible payment plan also are red flags.

      Protect your valuables. Even if you're confident that you've found the perfect mover, there are certain things you should move yourself. These include important identification, such as birth certificates, passports and Social Security cards, along with financial information. You also want to move jewelry and other small, expensive items yourself.

      Moving is stressful, so be sure to find the right moving company to make the process as smooth as possible.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 5 Places to Add to Your Travel Bucket List

      21 October 2021

      There may be seven original wonders of the world, but as restrictions lift all over the globe and more Americans make plans to travel, globe-trotting experts suggest these five amazing international spots to add to your travel bucket list.

      Plitvice National Park, Croatia - This patchwork of 16 startlingly beautiful lakes halfway between Zagreb and Zadar is a sight to behold, connected by a series of waterfalls and cascades, surrounded by woodland and scenic trails. A top Croatia destination, it is best visited in the shoulder months of April-May or September-October.

      Ilulissat Icefjord, Greenland - Known as Greenland’s iceberg capital, the town of Ilulissat lies on the edge of the remarkable Ilulissat Icefjord, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004. The fjord is known for its astonishing icebergs, extraordinary ice sculptures and peaceful waters. Home to one of the world's most active glaciers, its spectacular natural scenery draws adventurers from across the globe. 

      Forbidden City (Palace Museum) Beijing - Spread over 250 acres, this complex of well-preserved buildings holds nearly 9,000 rooms containing objects and artifacts from thousands of years of Chinese history. For five centuries, under the Ming and Qing dynasties, ordinary Chinese people were banned from even approaching the palace, but the site has welcomed visitors since 1925 and is a sight to behold.

      Milford Sound, South Island, New Zealand - Described by Rudyard Kipling as the ‘eighth wonder of the world,’ this magical region with its soaring snow-capped mountains, dazzling waters and lush rainforest is deemed by many as one of the last unspoiled places on earth. 

      Cliffs of Moher, County Clare, Ireland - Reaching heights of up to 700 feet, these towering cliffs on the west coast of Ireland are some of the tallest in Europe and definitely the most majestic. Stretching along nearly five miles of County Clare’s coastline, against dramatic Irish skies and the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean, the surreal region showcases some of the country’s most awe-inspiring scenery.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How to Support Adoption This Holiday Season

      21 October 2021

      (Family Features) In the United States, more than 120,000 children in the foster care system are waiting to be adopted. With no permanent family to call their own, the gift of secure, safe and loving forever homes is the goal for these children.

      While fostering or adopting a child can be one way to make more family moments possible, there are additional easy ways to support children waiting in foster care who need help.

      During the holiday season, consider these unique ways to give gifts that keep on giving.

      Donate to Wish Lists
      Whether you support a family working its way through the adoption process, give to a foster agency in need of supplies or find another way to give, your financial support can make a meaningful difference for children in foster care. Supporting organizations that fulfill foster wish lists is one way to help ensure these children feel loved and supported during the holiday season. Most agencies and adoption organizations have wish lists online if you prefer to donate items rather than cash.

      Enjoy a Treat While Giving Back
      Through Oct. 31, you can visit your local Wendy’s to purchase Boo! Books for $1 each, which contain five coupons for free Jr. Frosty treats that can be given to trick-or-treaters, family or friends. Proceeds support the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption (DTFA) and its mission to find forever families for children in foster care who are most often overlooked – teenagers, children with special needs and siblings.

      Offer Your Time and Talents
      Like other nonprofits, local adoption organizations are likely to run a lean staff and even leaner budget. Volunteering your time can make a meaningful difference. Easing the workload can help the organization’s staff dedicate more time to the ultimate goal of placing youth in permanent, loving homes. If you have skills or services that may benefit the organization, reach out to ask if you can help.

      Give a Gift That Keeps Giving
      Gift loved ones (or yourself) a simple present that continues to give rewards all year long. Benefiting the DTFA, Wendy’s Frosty Key Tags are available for $2 each throughout November and December, and allow the holder to receive a free Jr. Frosty every day for a year with any purchase.

      Provide Aid to Adoptive Families
      Families who have adopted a child may need additional support, even if they don’t ask for it. Reach out to a local agency to see if there are any families in your area you can assist. Some ideas for helping include delivering meals, assisting with household chores, such as yard work, or providing holiday gifts or decorations.

      Quench Your Thirst While Giving
      Supporting foster care adoption can be as easy as ordering a drink. Throughout November, when you use Wendy’s mobile app to redeem an offer for a free beverage of any size with purchase, Coca-Cola and Dr Pepper will donate up to $500,000 to the DTFA.

      Learn more about how you can support vulnerable youth in foster care by visiting wendys.com/adoption and davethomasfoundation.org.

      SOURCE: Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption

      Published with permission from RISMedia.