Consumer Real Estate News

    • Connect with Nature at Work

      25 June 2019

      (Family Features)--If you work outside your home, at least a third of your day may have you stuck inside an office. Make your work environment more appealing with these ideas that let you embrace nature even while you're on the clock.

      Incorporate natural life with a desk plant. You may feel more refreshed by that touch of green, and it helps clean the air around you, too. 

      Find the sunlight. Today's offices actively promote free-range working, so find a sofa near a window and get your best work done there. Or spend a few hours working outside each day. If your office design is behind the times, take a daily walk outside during your lunch break.

      Surround yourself with natural materials. Transform your desk-scape with a bamboo monitor stand, stone smartphone holder or woven seagrass inbox.

      Trick the senses with natural soundscapes. Earbuds are a must in today's open-plan offices. Instead of playing music, escape with nature-inspired tunes like rain, wind in the trees or forest birds.

      Select art influenced by Mother Nature. Decorate with nature-inspired art, whether it's photos of landscapes or a sunflower print.

      Source: Velux

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Renting a Vacation Home? Bring These 5 Items

      25 June 2019

      It’s vacation time, and the whole family is looking forward to the change of scene. But lake or beach house kitchens are notoriously hit and miss when it comes to kitchen amenities. Before you set off down the road and wind up at the end of your journey with a great bottle of wine and no reasonable way to open it, check out this list of kitchen helpers you should not leave your own home without:

      Two good knives - If you’re planning to cook, you won’t want to be stuck with knives that can’t cut butter. A decent chef’s knife and paring knife won’t take up much room and will make your kitchen prep time easier.

      Corkscrew - You don’t need anything fancy, but a classic corkscrew - and maybe a sturdy can and bottle opener - will ensure you get your favorite liquid refreshment, whatever it happens to be.

      Vegetable peeler - You can use a knife to peel those ‘taters if you have to, but a peeler takes up little space and makes the chore of peeling veggies far easier and quicker.

      Coffee maker or French press - If you can’t start your day without that just-right cup of joe, don’t rely on what passes for a coffee maker in many vacation home kitchens. Take your coffee maker with you, or get an inexpensive French press, so you can savor the brew along with the view.

      Plastic bags and storage containers - If you’ve ever been stranded in a lake or beach house with no way to store your leftovers, save yourself a repeat and take some plastic gear with you. For that matter, pack sturdy paper plates and plastic cutlery and save yourself (or someone else) a lot of dishwashing time. 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 5 Ways to Jam More Joy into Your Workweek

      21 June 2019

      Are you living for the weekend? If work dominates most of your time during the week, it's easy to fall into the pattern of dreading Monday and celebrating Friday. To help, consider the following simple ways to pack more moments of joy into your busy week.

      Jam out in the mornings. While you're making breakfast and prepping for your day, put on some of your favorite tunes for a morning dance party to start the day right. If you have kids, pick songs they find fun for a family dance party.

      Plan an outdoor excursion. Whether it's a quick trip to the dog park after work or an early morning walk around the lake with your spouse, getting some fresh air during any time of the year will generally boost your spirits.

      Organize one social engagement. Strong social bonds are critical for overall human happiness. Aim to connect with friends or family at least once a week. If your schedule is slammed, ask a pal to run errands with you or meet you for lunch mid-week.

      Learn something new. Studies have shown that learning can make us happier, as well as build confidence. Pick a new hobby, language or field of study and dedicate one hour a week toward making progress on it. Luckily, there are apps and podcasts to help you learn wherever you are—even during your commute to the office.

      Dress for happiness. This may seem silly, but studies have shown that those who like their wardrobes and feel confident in their clothing have a better overall outlook. If you like bright colors, incorporate them into your work wardrobe, or give yourself the go-ahead to splurge on a few new staples you feel great in.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Traveling? Understand 'Travel Delay' Insurance

      21 June 2019

      If you're flying in the upcoming months for work or pleasure, you likely nabbed travel insurance to cover any hitches. According to Squaremouth, travel insurance claims for travel delays increased by a staggering 92 percent over last year, stranding travelers at the airport for hours or more. Squaremouth notes that most travel insurance policies automatically include Travel Delay coverage, and can reimburse travelers anywhere from $250 - $1,500 depending on the policy.

      Make sure to fully understand your delay policy, and should you need to make a delay claim, Squaremouth recommends the following steps to make sure it's approved.

      Contact Emergency Assistance. All travel insurance providers have a 24-hour Emergency Assistance department, which can offer immediate help and advice if you experience an emergency or delay while traveling.

      Before making any changes to your itinerary or spending money on a hotel room, travelers experiencing a flight delay or flight cancellation should first call their provider's Emergency Assistance to confirm their coverage details and options.

      Get a Statement From Your Airline. Travel insurance providers typically require a statement confirming you were actually delayed, and why. Most policies require a traveler to be delayed for a minimum of three hours in order to be reimbursed; however, some policies don't provide coverage until a delay exceeds 12 hours.

      Most paid Travel Delay claims are for severe weather or a mechanical breakdown that impacts a flight. However, missing your flight because you got caught up at a security checkpoint, especially as airports increase security measures, is not covered.

      Keep Your Receipts. The Travel Delay benefit can reimburse you for meals, hotels and transportation while your trip is delayed, but you must remember to keep your receipts from purchases made during the delay. If you forget, or if receipts are not available, your bank or credit card statement will usually be enough.

      Gather Your Trip Documentation. Providers may ask travelers to send in documents confirming the impact of an airline delay on their travel plans, such as an original and updated trip itinerary. For example, if your airline carrier delay causes you to miss a cruise ship departure, you may also be covered by the Travel Delay benefit to catch up to your cruise.

      Source: Squaremouth

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 5 Things You Can Do to Welcome a New Neighbor

      21 June 2019

      Being happy at home is not just about your house and yard, it’s about your neighbors, too. And when someone new moves in next door, it stands to change your well being...for better or worse. That’s why taking a few proactive steps with new neighbors can be so important for setting the stage for a long and pleasant relationship. You don’t have to become best friends, but coexisting peacefully is a priority, so try these steps to start things off on the right foot:

      Introduce yourself right away...without being invasive. It may seem obvious, but in today’s isolated age where we value our privacy, we often tend to keep our distance for too long. So don’t delay in making a simple introduction to your new neighbors—but don’t be invasive. No need to invite them over, just a simple hello and welcome to the neighborhood will do. Let them know to feel free to knock on your door or call should they need anything.

      Take care of any border mess. If you’ve been neglectful about leaves or overgrowth between your two houses, now’s the time to take care of it. Perhaps your former neighbors didn’t mind, but tidy things up to prevent any issues with the new neighbors.

      Be respectful about events. If you’ve got a party or event approaching that will involve music, noise or extra cars on the street, let your new neighbor know in advance. They will appreciate the heads-up, and perhaps this is an opportunity to invite them over if the occasion warrants.

      Be an information source. If they’re brand-new to your town, provide some helpful information, such as which day recycling is picked up, where the school bus stop is, how late the convenience store down the road stays open, the best local dog park, etc. The inside track on the ins and outs of a new neighborhood are always appreciated.

      Answer any questions they may have about their house. If you were friendly with your former neighbor, you may be able to answer questions they have about the home they just bought, so be as forthcoming and helpful as possible. If you’ve resided in the neighborhood for some time, you may be able to offer insights on renovations they’re considering, as well.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.