Consumer Real Estate News

    • Eat and Drink Smart to Fend Off Cold and Flu Season

      23 November 2020

      (Family Features) It’s no secret that a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and veggies can deliver important vitamins and nutrients for better health, but many of your favorite foods can actually help support your immune system, too.

      In addition to precautions like avoiding people who are sick and washing your hands often, you can influence your immune system through what you eat and drink.

      Stay hydrated. Keeping well hydrated can be difficult during the winter months, especially if you spend most of your time indoors. A warm drink like this flavorful Orange Spiced Tea provides a strong dose of vitamin C along with a delicious dose of hydration.

      Keep the produce going strong. Fresh, seasonal fruits and veggies often come to mind during warmer months, but produce like citrus, leafy greens and root vegetables are plentiful during cold and flu season, too. 

      “Consuming the whole fruit is the best way to ensure you gain the maximum nutritional benefit,” Dr. Poonam Desai said. “When speaking with patients, I recommend seeking nutrients like vitamin C from whole food sources, rather than supplements, especially with a vitamin C-rich fruit like California oranges.”

      Get a natural boost of vitamins. Vitamins A and C, found in fresh citrus, are two key nutrients that support your body’s natural line of defense, your immune system. Just one orange offers 90% of the daily recommended value of vitamin C, and California Navel oranges are in their peak season – just in time for the height of cold and flu season. 

      Get inspired with more ideas to boost your immune system with essential vitamins and nutrients at

      5 Ways to Get More Vitamin C
      Pick heavy fruit.
      When shopping for citrus, choose fruit that smells fresh and feels heavy for its size. The heavier the orange, the juicer it’s likely to be.  

      Explore versatility. Fresh citrus like California Navel oranges make a nutritious addition to sweet and savory dishes, beverages, cocktails, sauces and more. 

      Use the whole fruit. Reduce food waste by consuming the flesh, juice, zest and peel. Try squeezing juice and grating zest into a smoothie, using orange segments for a vibrant salad or combining diced Navels with red onion, cilantro and jalapenos for a zesty salsa. 

      Retain vitamin C content. Vitamin C is water soluble, so to retain as much as possible, eat citrus fresh, avoid overcooking and use minimal amounts of water. 

      Refrigerate for longer shelf life. Keep your citrus fresh longer by storing it in the refrigerator at a temperature below 42 F. To get the most juice out of the orange, bring it to room temperature before cooking.

      Orange Spiced Tea
      Recipe courtesy of California Citrus Growers

      • 6 cups water
      • 1 clove cinnamon or 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
      • 6 tea bags 
      • 1 cup California Navel orange juice
      • 1/2 cup white sugar
      • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
      • 1 slice California Navel orange

      Bring water and cinnamon to boil; let cinnamon dissolve. Remove from heat and add tea bags; soak at least 5 minutes. Remove tea bags.  

      In a separate pan, bring orange juice, sugar and lemon juice to boil. Stir until sugar dissolves.

      Pour juice mixture into spiced tea.

      Garnish with an orange slice and serve hot.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Five Tips for a Hassle-Free Moving Day

      23 November 2020

      Moving vans are criss-crossing the nation in great numbers these days, as consumers take advantage of historically low mortgage rates to upgrade their living space and grab their piece of the American Dream.

      The New York Times reported recently that moving companies are so busy, they are turning people away, and in most areas of the country, movers need to be booked way in advance of your moving day.

      But the big day will arrive sooner than you think and you’ll want it to go as smoothly as possible. Moving professionals offer five tips for ensuring that it does:

      List last-minute chores. You’ve spent weeks sorting, packing and preparing for your move, but certain tasks cannot be accomplished in advance, like emptying and/or cleaning out the fridge and freezer, getting kids or pets to scheduled sitters, or taking out the last of the trash. Making a list will make it easier for you to check off last-minute needs.

      Prepare a go-bag. Pack a box or suitcase with stuff you’ll need on moving day or the day after, as well as documents and valuables you don’t want to load onto the moving truck, such as phone chargers, toiletries, medications and an extra set of clothes for each family member. For a long journey, you may also want to fill a small cooler with water and healthy snacks or pre-made sandwiches.

      Leave out basic cleaning supplies. You’ve likely done a thorough house cleaning by now, but once the furniture and packed cartons are gone, you may see dirty areas you didn’t notice earlier. Keep rags or paper towels and a few basic cleansers handy for tackling dust bunnies behind the now-gone sofa, or grime where the fridge once stood.

      Do one last walk-through. Anything left behind may be difficult to retrieve later, so open all kitchen and bathroom drawers and cabinets, bedroom closets, coat closets and any other built-in areas where items may have escaped notice. 

      Have some cash on hand. While a credit card can cover unexpected stops for lunch or other purchases, you may want to have cash to tip your professional movers. Such tips are not mandatory, but if they’ve done a good job, consider tipping $20 per helper.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How to Make a City Home More Tranquil

      23 November 2020

      While there’s plenty to love about urban life, it’s no secret that it can be a grind. The noise, the traffic and the general energy can leave us yearning for a little peace and quiet at the end of the day. If you want to come home to a more relaxing environment, here are several ways to create your own urban oasis. 

      Reduce Noise Pollution
      If you live close to the street level, noise pollution can be a major cause of disruption, as anyone who’s had the unfortunate experience of being awoken by a car alarm at three in the morning can attest to. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the amount of noise that gets into your home, and windows that have a high sound transmission class rating are perhaps the most effective method. Additionally, extra insulation and proper window treatments can help to dampen the sounds of the street.

      Air Purification & Ventilation
      When the air in your apartment is feeling kind of stuffy, the first thing you want to do is open the window, right? Of course, that’s just going to let all the noise pollution in, or worse, air pollution. For this reason, it might be worth installing a ventilation system to pump fresh air into your home, as well as a purifier to remove any airborne contaminants. Improved air quality can make all the difference and leave you feeling like you’ve escaped the city each time you get home. 

      Plenty of Plants
      If there’s one thing that the city can deprive us of, it’s green spaces. While you might not be able to totally immerse yourself in nature, you can still fill your living space with houseplants and indoor trees. There are plenty of studies to suggest that being surrounded by nature can help to promote relaxation, which is reason enough to bring some greenery into your home. Plus, it can also help to absorb sound, which is an added benefit.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Get Ready to Gift: Holiday Presents for Every Person (and Pet) on Your Holiday List

      20 November 2020

      (Family Features) With a variety of personalities and interests likely on your holiday shopping list, finding the perfect gift for everyone can be a daunting task. Rather than spending countless hours browsing online or walking up and down store aisles, consider this array of gift ideas that can put you on the path toward successful shopping during a holiday season sure to be unlike any before it.

      With more people spending time at home, gifts that can keep the house clean, showcase team spirit or provide a simple way to pass the time can be hits. Of course, you can also ship a tasty meal directly to a loved one’s door or give that four-legged family member an extra special treat.

      Find more holiday gift-giving inspiration at

      A Tasteful Holiday Gift
      Give the gift of flavor this holiday season with a full spread of Omaha Steaks favorites in one collection. Loaded with double-trimmed, famously fork-tender Butcher’s Cut filet mignons, tender and crispy bacon-wrapped filet mignons, flavor-packed burgers, classic boneless pork chops, juicy boneless chicken breasts, gourmet jumbo franks, all-beef meatballs, a savory side and dessert, it’s a memorable and delicious gift everyone can enjoy. Find more flavorful holiday gift ideas at

      The No. 1 Gift Pick
      Give the sports fan in your life an authentic piece of collectible memorabilia to showcase his or her team spirit, such as this Patrick Mahomes Super Bowl LIV MVP Dynasty Banner from Winning Streak Sports – The #1 Premium Licensed Product in Sports. Created to commemorate some of the greatest teams, schools and players, these limited-edition high stich count banners, which are available framed or unframed, are made from 100% wool blend felt with iron-safe backing and include a hanging cord for easy display. Find more upscale, gift-worthy sports memorabilia at

      A Riveting Read
      Provide the bookworm in your life with a true thriller like “Pilate’s Cross” by J. Alexander Greenwood, a murder mystery based on a true story. A sleepy college town in the middle of nowhere is just the fresh start John Pilate needs, but he didn’t count on uncovering a deadly conspiracy. In over his head, Pilate risks it all to get to the truth in this tale exploding with action, crisp dialogue and quirky twists. Visit to find the book.

      Countdown to the Holidays with Your Pet
      Add more happiness to your pet’s holiday season with an option like this Merry & Bright Holiday Deck The Howls with Cookies Advent Calendar Dog Treat, which is available at PetSmart. Your dog has been good all year, so don’t forget to include him or her in the holiday countdown with an advent calendar of his or her own. Find more holiday gift ideas for your pets at

      Give the Gift of Time
      Gifting your family a vacuum-and-mop-in-one like the DEEBOT T8 allows you to enjoy the holidays and leave the cleaning to the robot. It provides hands-free cleaning and removes 99.26% of bacteria with its patented OZMO Mopping System. With no pre-cleaning needed and a runtime of more than three hours, it also detects obstacles with accuracy to avoid collisions and getting stuck. Learn more at

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Pros and Cons of a 40-Year Mortgage

      20 November 2020

      Most mortgages have a term of 15 or 30 years. However, if you want to buy a more expensive house than you could afford with one of those loan options, you might be able to purchase your dream home with a 40-year mortgage. You could have a hard time finding such a loan, though, and you would pay more over the term of the mortgage.

      How Does a 40-Year Mortgage Work?
      There are several variations on the 40-year home loan. Lenders may offer one or more versions. Most have a fixed interest rate, but some have an adjustable rate. The interest rate for a 40-year mortgage is often higher than it is for a 30-year loan. Some 40-year mortgages have interest-only payments for the first several years, while others have low monthly payments and a balloon payment due at the end.

      Costs and Equity With a 40-Year Mortgage 
      Since a 40-year mortgage spreads out the cost of a loan over a longer period of time than a traditional mortgage, it has lower monthly payments. That could make a 40-year mortgage a good option if you want to keep your monthly payments as low as possible or if you want to buy a more expensive home.

      You will pay more in interest with a 40-year mortgage because it will have a higher interest rate and you will be paying interest over a greater number of months. You can also build equity more slowly with a 40-year loan. If you decide to sell your house before you pay off the mortgage, you might have little equity, even after living there for several years.

      Is a 40-Year Mortgage Right for You?
      If you are considering a 40-year mortgage because you want to buy an expensive house and you can’t afford the monthly payments for a 30-year loan, you may be better off purchasing a less expensive house and taking out a smaller mortgage with a shorter term. If, on the other hand, you want to buy a house in an area where average home prices are high overall, a 40-year mortgage might be a better option.

      Be sure to carefully consider the terms of each specific loan. For instance, if you take out a 40-year mortgage with a balloon payment and you’re  unable to pay the large sum, you could lose your home. 

      How to Find a 40-Year Mortgage
      A qualified mortgage meets standards that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has set to make sure that borrowers are only approved for home loans that they can afford to repay. A qualified mortgage may not have a term longer than 30 years. 

      A 40-year mortgage is an unqualified loan. Many lenders consider unqualified mortgages riskier than qualified mortgages and do not offer them. You may be able to find a 40-year mortgage through a small private lender or a credit union. Before you take out a 40-year mortgage, check the lender’s background to ensure it is reputable.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.