Consumer Real Estate News

    • 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.

    • 5 Important Tips for Painting Your Kitchen Cabinets

      30 September 2022

      Is your kitchen in need of a refresh? Instead of dropping thousands of dollars on a full kitchen remodel, a fresh coat of paint on your cabinets can transform this space and make you feel like you’ve just stepped into a brand new kitchen. But before you break out the paintbrush and a pop of color, you need to be prepared. Here are five tips you should follow before you take on this DIY painting project. 

      Remove the Doors and Hardware
      Though it can be tempting to paint directly on the cabinets—don’t. Taking the doors off is an essential first step for ensuring the best results. If you do not remove the doors, you may paint a cabinet shut, miss spots behind the doors and end up with an overall messy final product. This will also help to avoid dripping, which can cause a huge mess. 

      Once the doors are removed, be sure to take off any and all hardware, including door and drawer pulls, plus any hinges on the doors and cabinets. Be sure to label them as you take them off so that once you are finished painting, everything ends up in the right place. 

      Don’t Skip the Prep Work
      Almost every painting project, no matter how big or small, requires some prep work. This is a step you definitely don’t want to skip. Painting your kitchen cabinets is a time-consuming process, and if it isn’t done right from the start, it may end up looking worse than what you had before. 

      Before you start painting, most cabinets require a sanding to the surface, as well as filling in cracks with wood filler—be sure to let this dry! Once sanded and evened out, wipe down with a damp cloth to remove dust and debris. If this isn’t removed before priming and painting, it may ruin the final finish.

      Primer is Important
      When it comes to painting projects, especially in the home, primer is an important step for long-lasting, high-quality results. Primer will allow the paint, no matter what color or shade you choose, to shine. It will also help the paint stick to the surface. Be aware of the material you are painting and the type of paint you plan to use to be sure you get the right type of primer. 

      Many older cabinets are typically painted with oil paint, and if you choose a latex paint for your finish, it may end up peeling off, meaning you will have to re-paint after a short period of time. Talk to your local hardware store to figure out which primer will be best for your project.

      Apply Thick Layers of Paint
      In any kitchen, all surfaces should be durable, including your cabinets. They should be able to survive daily use and be easy to clean in case of spills, splashes and sticky fingers. When painting, start with one thin coat of paint. The best way to tackle this project will be to paint on multiple layers of paint, creating a thick, even coating. This will also help avoid chipping, which may be a result of one thick, uneven coat. 

      As mentioned, this project will be time consuming. Before adding each next coat of paint, you want to be sure that the previous coat is completely dry. This will require a lot of patience, but it will pay off in the end if done correctly. 

      Allow Your Cabinets to Dry Completely
      Speaking of completely dry, this step is vital to finish off this undertaking. Though your cabinets may be dry to the touch within a few hours, the curing process can take up to three days. If you do not take the time to let the paint cure into a hard, durable surface, you may experience chips and marks. 

      Wait at least 48-72 hours before reattaching hardware to the doors and drawers. Wait the same amount of time before you attach the doors back onto the cabinets, as well. For the first week, be aware of how hard you close them and avoid scraping, as they are still susceptible to damage.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How to Get Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night

      29 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.

    • 5 Things to Avoid Buying in Bulk

      29 September 2022

      Buying in bulk may be costly upfront, but it can save you a lot over time. If you have the pantry space, there are some items that are ideal as bulk buys. Unfortunately, there are some things that just don’t make sense to buy in bulk. Save yourself some cash and some frustration by avoiding these bulk purchases.

      Your local discount or bulk store likely has a vast selection of spices, but don’t be fooled. Unless you tend to cook for large groups of people regularly, you likely won’t make a dent in the spice container after the first year of purchase. Remember, while spices don’t spoil in the traditional sense, they lose their flavor and potency over time, making them useless.

      Nuts may be shelf-stable, but they contain a lot of oil which can turn rancid sooner than you might think. Unless you have a large family that enjoys snacking on nuts daily, or you plan to do a lot of baking soon, it may be best to buy your favorite nuts in smaller quantities. The only exception? Nuts freeze well, if you have freezer space, this can be a good way to capitalize on a bulk deal without wasting the food.

      New Vitamins
      Buying vitamins can be a savvy shopping trick, but if you purchase a bulk supply of a vitamin, you should be sure you’re going to take it. Avoid buying expensive vitamins in bulk if you haven’t tried them before. No one wants to find out that a specific brand tastes awful or is hard on their stomach after they’ve purchased 500 of them.

      Name Brand Items
      Buying name-brand items in bulk can get you a good deal, but if you are shopping from a bulk store, you may find that the store brand offers an equivalent quality with an even bigger bargain. In fact, due to the large purchase agreements bulk stores can make, some items may be from the same manufacturer, making the only true difference between the name brand and its store-brand counterpart the label it comes in.

      Soda and Chips
      Soda is a loss leader at many chain grocery stores. These items are sold below cost to entice shoppers to come to the store. If you want a great deal for your next BBQ, you may find a better sale at your local grocery store.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.