Consumer Real Estate News

    • Can You Really Afford a New Car?

      16 September 2022

      If you’re interested in purchasing a new vehicle, you have to consider more than just a monthly loan payment. When you factor in all the other costs associated with owning a vehicle, you may realize that the brand-new car you’re considering is outside of your budget.

      Consider the Total Cost of Car Ownership
      When you own a car, you have to cover a lot more than just a loan. For one thing, you’ll need to pay for gas. Since vehicles vary widely in terms of fuel economy, even a car with an affordable loan payment may cost you a lot for fuel.

      Insurance is another item that can stretch your budget beyond your comfort zone. Before you buy a vehicle, learn how much it would cost to insure it. You can get quotes online to find out if a car you’re considering would be affordable or, once you’ve narrowed your choices to a few vehicles, you can compare insurance premiums for all of them to help you make a final decision.

      Cars need maintenance and repairs. Even if you buy a new car with a warranty, it won’t cover routine maintenance, such as oil changes. The warranty may expire in a few short years. If you keep the car past that point, you’ll have to pay for repairs yourself. Research the vehicle you’re considering and find out if that particular model tends to experience certain types of problems and how much it costs to fix them. 

      Depreciation is something that many people don’t consider when shopping for a new car. All vehicles lose value over time, but new cars depreciate at a faster rate than older ones. Rates of depreciation vary from one make and model to another. There isn’t much you can do to slow depreciation, but you can look for a type of vehicle that tends to hold its value so you’ll be able to get a good price if you decide to sell it or trade it in later.

      Figure Out If the Car You Have in Mind Is Really Affordable
      It’s generally a good idea to limit your vehicle-related spending to about 15% of your net income. Once you’ve estimated the total amount that it would cost you each month to own a particular vehicle, you may realize that it would be a stretch.

      In that case, you may be better off going with a new vehicle that’s smaller, that gets better gas mileage or that will cost less to insure. Purchasing a used car that’s in good condition is another way to save money. If you buy a used vehicle that’s still under warranty, that can help you keep your repair costs down, at least at first. 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How to Get Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night

      16 September 2022

      Caring for an infant can be exhausting, especially if the baby wakes up soon after falling asleep and you can’t get more than a couple of hours of sleep at a time. Here are some important things you should know about an infant’s sleeping habits and tips to help your baby sleep through the night so you can get some rest, too.

      Understand Your Infant’s Needs
      For young babies, eating is more important than sleeping, regardless of the time of day. During the first couple of months, it’s normal for an infant to wake up several times during the night to eat.

      After three to six months, your baby may sleep for longer periods of time. When your infant begins to realize that you will leave the room at bedtime, the baby may cry so you won’t leave. That’s a normal part of an infant’s development.

      Keep Things Consistent 
      Following a routine can help your infant understand the difference between day and night, and get them on a sleep schedule. The sooner you start, the better. The most important thing is to keep the routine consistent and to do the same activities, in the same order, every day.

      Keeping your baby active during the day will make the infant tired in the evening. As bedtime approaches, switch to calmer, quieter activities that promote relaxation, such as giving your baby a bath and looking at a book together. 

      The last activity should take place in the nursery and should be something that your baby enjoys. That will help your infant associate the nursery and bedtime with positive feelings. 

      An infant who is overtired may have trouble falling asleep. If your baby has a hard time dozing off, try making bedtime earlier. 

      Waking up and finding the room different can be unsettling for an infant.  Don’t adjust the lighting after your baby goes to bed. 

      Overstimulation can make it hard for a baby to fall asleep again. If you have to feed or change the baby during the night, keep the lighting the same as it was when the infant was sleeping and talk as little as possible. 

      Teach Your Baby How to Self-Soothe and Fall Asleep 
      You can soothe your infant with cuddling or rocking, but babies also have to learn how to soothe themselves. At 6 to 12 weeks old, start putting the baby to bed while drowsy, but not quite asleep. 

      You may want to try the Ferber Method starting at the age of 5 or 6 months. Put your baby to bed drowsy, but awake, and leave the room. If the baby cries, wait a few minutes before you return. Console, but don’t pick up, the infant. Only stay for a few minutes, even if the baby is still crying. 

      If the baby keeps crying after you leave, return to the room, but wait longer. This process can be stressful, but parents often find that their babies begin to sleep better within a week.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • What to Look for in a Luxury Real Estate Agent

      16 September 2022

      Especially when buying a luxury home, it’s essential to work with an agent who is deeply versed in the high-end market and can guide you every step of the way. If you’re looking to buy or sell a luxury property, your time and privacy are of high priority. When you’re ready to buy or sell your luxury home, here are some tips to help you select the real estate agent who will be the best fit for you.

      Luxury Real Estate Experience
      While decades of professional experience in other professional fields is an asset to real estate agents, it’s essential to work with an agent who has significant experience in the luxury home market. Assessing an agent’s current listings, as well as their closed transactions, is a quick way to evaluate if that particular agent specializes in buying and selling properties in your desired price range. From there, you can begin interviewing agents who have experience in the luxury market. 

      Agent Accessibility
      When you’re interviewing real estate agents, it is vital to ask how accessible they are. For example, will you call or text them directly, or does all communication need to go through their assistant? Will the agent be showing you properties, or do they have an associate handle the showings? Understanding how accessible the agent is may encourage or deter you from working with them.

      Market Knowledge
      A well-versed luxury real estate agent should know the available inventory, the average number of days a home is on the market and all ins and outs of the local luxury market. A luxury real estate agent should also have a realistic understanding of prices and guide you if a listing is priced unreasonably high, plans for the neighborhood and what your budget can reasonably afford.

      Customized Marketing Plan
      If you’re selling a luxury home, a real estate agent should be able to outline the proposed marketing strategy unique to your home articulately. A customized marketing plan is paramount to help your home stand out to luxury buyers when selling a luxury property. The plan should include staging, photo and video, digital marketing, media and event marketing components

      Maintaining Your Privacy
      In the luxury home market, privacy is imperative. If you’re selling a luxury property, a real estate agent should thoroughly screen potential buyers and have a system to keep both your information and belongings safe during the showing and sales process. In addition, ultra-high-end homes are often sold off-market, so working with an agent who is discreet throughout the process and has a trusted network of luxury agents are two important qualities.

      Whether you’re buying or selling a luxury property, partnering with a real estate agent you’re personally and professionally compatible with will help lessen the stress associated with buying and selling a home. By asking the right questions and getting to know your agent before embarking on your next real estate venture, you can be sure you will partner with the agent who is the best fit for you.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 4 Reward Ideas to Help Achieve Your Fitness Goals

      15 September 2022

      Whether you choose to reward yourself based on a weight loss number, a certain strength goal or simply want to reward yourself after you’ve reached a specific number of workouts in a row, there are a lot of ways you can choose to make pursuing your fitness goals more fun. The key is to find rewards that are fun to receive, but won’t set you back on your goals. These reward ideas are perfect for everyone striving to get healthier.

      Athletic Shoes
      A good pair of athletic shoes can help you get the most of your workout while preventing injury. Whether your workout involves running, walking, sports, weight training or dancing, there are likely some ideal shoes that will support your training goals. If you are unsure what to get or want to ensure proper sizing, consider setting a reward to purchase athletic shoes in-person from a shoe store where an employee can offer recommendations and proper sizing.

      Massage Gun
      If foam rolling is helpful to you after a strenuous workout, but you’re tired of the time it takes after each session, this reward is for you. A massage gun specifically designed to help alleviate muscle tension after workouts can be an excellent fitness reward. This item can be a splurge, but after using it a few times, you won’t regret saving up for it.

      New Workout Accessory
      If you intend to set incremental goals, inexpensive small rewards are ideal. New workout accessories can be the perfect option for these situations. Water bottles, brand-name athletic socks or scrunchies, trendy patterned workout bands and even a higher-end jump rope can all serve to make your next workout more exciting.

      Boutique Class Pass
      If there is a sport or activity you’ve been dying to try, a boutique class pass can be an excellent reward idea. Keep yourself on track by sticking to a particular program and once you’ve achieved a fitness goal, reward yourself with a little change-up from your normal fitness routine. Spin classes, rock climbing sessions and other boutique classes can be a great way to break up a monotonous fitness routine.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 5 Habits of Clean People That You Can Adopt in Your Home

      15 September 2022

      For some, keeping house comes naturally. For others, particularly those with young children, it can feel like a constant battle. If your home is not as tidy as you would like, implementing some carefully chosen new habits can be all that it takes to tip the scales. Make cleaning and tidying more manageable than ever before by adopting these habits “clean people” already know.

      Leave Your Shoes by the Door
      Sometimes, the secret to keeping your home clean and tidy is to simply avoid dirtying it at all. Your shoes are host to grime and germs that accumulate throughout the day. On bad days? Shoes may trek in mud, dirt or even gum discarded on the sidewalk. Take your shoes off and leave them by the door to ensure your floors are cleaner longer.

      Clean While You Cook
      The classic “clean as you go” technique is perhaps the most beneficial when it comes to cooking. A great home-cooked meal can often come with an unexpectedly big mess. To prevent a huge chore after the meal is eaten, try to clean up splatters and spills as you cook. While items are baking or simmering, consider washing large cookware and other items to clear up space. This will prevent overwhelm when the meal is finished.

      Make Your Bed
      You don’t need to layout your sheets with military precision to benefit from a made bed. If you’re not a bed-maker by nature, start small by simply tossing the comforter and pillows into place in the mornings and gently adjusting them. You’ll be amazed at how much your space visually improves by taking a few minutes to make the bed.

      Straighten Up
      Cleaning up can be helpful, but if your favorite throw blanket seems to find a home on the couch every day, then a gentle straightening session can be just what you need. Instead of putting an item that you need away, simply lay it out or sort it with intention. A bundled-up blanket looks disheveled, a throw blanket laid out on the side of the couch offers a lived-in, yet tidy feel. The same is true for papers that need to be filed or books that you want to read. Stacking them nicely can do wonders.

      Take Five Each Night
      At the end of the day, the last thing you may want to do is clean, but a five minute tidy can be all it takes to keep stray clutter at bay. Errant snack bowls, kids’ socks and electronics that were left out can quickly add up. Take five minutes at night to make cleaning easy.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.