Consumer Real Estate News

    • 3 Ways Pet Adoption Can Be a Win for All

      17 September 2019

      (Family Features)--Pet adoption improves – and sometimes saves – the lives of millions of furry friends each year. However, the benefits of adoption are not a one-way street. Research continues to emerge supporting the positive impact pets add to owners' lives, as well as the benefits pet adoption has on communities as a whole.

      "Pets are good for our physical and mental well-being," says Mark Johnson, president of Mars Petcare North America. "Supporting pet adoption from local animal shelters is one of the most important things we do; not only does it support our global ambition to end pet homelessness, but we're also helping improve the lives of the people in our community who are going home with a new best friend. It's a win-win for everyone involved."

      Consider these ways pet adoption can transform communities, and to take the first step toward helping a pet, contact local animal shelters for upcoming adoption events. 

      1. Forever Homes Improve Quality of Life for Pets – Each year, 4 million pets end up in shelters, according to PEDIGREE Foundation. Adoptive individuals and families can significantly improve a pet's life, offering him or her a loving family, warm home and reliable source of food, necessities and companionship. Adopted pets can benefit from the consistency offered outside of the shelter, gaining regular exercise and a heightened sense of comfort in a more predictable home environment.

      2. Pet Ownership Benefits Owners and Families – As much as pet adoption can improve the quality of pets' lives, the tangible benefits can also carry over to pet owners. According to research from the Human Animal Bond Research Institute and Mars Petcare, 80 percent of pet owners reported their pets made them feel less lonely.

      Pet ownership has been associated with lower blood pressure, lower heart rate and faster recovery during mental stress. Increased exercise could be a potential cause, with research also revealing older adults with dogs walked a surplus of 2,760 steps a day, compared to their non-dog-owning counterparts. These walks allow owners to spend more time outdoors, bonding with their pets and interacting with neighbors and the community around them.

      3. Pet Adoption Supports Community Health – Shelters often rely on citizens for adoptive and foster families, as well as volunteers. Citizens' willingness to volunteer and attend adoption events allows community members to connect over a common cause and cultivate relationships. Once adopted, pets can also provide an icebreaker and encourage friendships among their neighboring pet parents.

      Source: Family Features,

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Drain Maintenance: Dos and Don'ts

      17 September 2019

      Your drains impact the overall health of your home, yet it's likely that you rarely stop to think about them unless something is wrong. 

      "Most plumbing problems are totally preventable," says Tommy Webber, owner of T.Webber Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electric.  "Knowing what to do and, most importantly, what not to do can really alleviate a lot of stress and save both time and money."

      Below, T.Webber offers the following best practices with regard to drain maintenance.

      Do minimize the amount of food that gets washed down the kitchen sink. A few leftover crumbs here and there are bound to end up going down the kitchen sink when you rinse your dishes after eating. As much as possible though, try to scrape all of the food you can out into a garbage container before rinsing your plate.

      Do regularly apply natural cleaners to your drains. It's best not to regularly use harsh, chemical cleaners on your drains. However, maintaining a routine dose of a natural, biological treatment to clean out your pipes will help improve the performance of your entire drain system.

      Don't pour grease down a drain. Instead of disposing of grease by pouring it down a drain, allow it to cool and solidify and then dispose of it with other solids. Hot grease may begin to run down the drain, but as it cools it will begin to build up in the pipes, catch other debris and form clogs.

      Don't force fibrous fruits and vegetables through your garbage disposal. Foods like uncooked carrots, potato peels, broccoli stalks, corn, asparagus and other fibrous fruits and vegetables are best disposed of in a compost pile outside or in the trash. If they go down your garbage disposal, they could entangle and damage the unit.

      Don't let hair go down your bathroom drains. Whether it's the shower or the sink, letting hair slip down the drains will cause clogs over time. Consider placing strainers over bathroom drains to catch any loose hairs. This way, you can dispose of them in the trash can instead of losing them in your piping.

      Source: T.Webber Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electric

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 4 Ways to Get a Nature Fix When You Live in the City

      17 September 2019

      Health experts agree - the benefits of spending time in nature are manifold. From reducing stress and anxiety to strengthening your immune system to reducing the symptoms of depression, communing with the great outdoors, even for brief periods of time, is well worth making time for.

      But that can be tough when you live in an urban environment. Luckily, with a little strategic know-how even city-dwellers can reap the rewards of green space. Here are four easy ways urbanites can get a quick nature fix:

      1. Spend lunchtime in the park. Today’s cities are home to some of the most prized parks, and local planners take great care to make them accessible, wonderful havens for city dwellers. So when weather permits, get out of your office and head to the park for lunch or a picnic dinner with friends or family. While you’re there, kick off your shoes. Studies show that going barefoot in the grass helps regulate the central nervous system.

      2. Head to the roof. Many of today’s urban dwellings and offices have inviting rooftop areas for tenants. Take full advantage of these open-air spaces to relax with a book or a podcast. The dose of vitamin D and fresh air will fill you with valuable, mood-enhancing nutrients. 

      3. Get out of the gym. Chances are high that your city has invested in running and biking paths, sports fields, hiking trails and other outdoor fitness areas that weave their way through parks and along rivers and lakes. Commit to taking your fitness routine outdoors in order to take care of your physical and mental well-being. 

      4. Find a community garden. Nothing beats the benefits of digging in the dirt! Just because you live in the city doesn’t mean you can’t partake in full-fledged gardening. Find a community garden and spend a day or two on the weekend or an evening after work, planting, watering and weeding to your heart’s content. 

      Remember, being a city slicker doesn’t mean you can’t be a nature enthusiast as well. These are just some of the ideas that can let you have the best of both worlds!

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Pool Maintenance 101 for New Pool Owners

      16 September 2019

      Are you the brand new owner of a pool, or currently considering adding a pool to your property? While pools can bring you and your family hours of endless fun in warm weather, it's important to know the basics of pool ownership. To help, removable pool fence manufacturer LOOP-LOC discusses basic pool knowledge for new pool owners.

      Organize Your Files. While it may not seem like this is a part of pool care, it is crucial that you keep every manual, receipt and any paperwork that comes with your pool. By organizing them and keeping them in a place where you can easily find them, whenever you have to fix something in your pool, whether it be you or a handyman,  you will have no issue figuring out what parts are needed for the situation. Also, with smartphones in each of our pockets, it is wise to take a couple of photos of key information involving the pool in case you misplace documentation and need the information in a pinch. By doing all of this, you will have the foresight of being prepared five or ten years down the road when you inevitably need to replace a part or two.

      Study Online. It can be troubling to not know how to take care of your new expensive investment. By researching online, you can read and watch instructional videos on how to learn to properly care for your pool. This information can range from learning the correct chemicals to purchase to knowing exactly when to use them.

      Put it on Your Calendar. While pools are beautiful, they require regular maintenance to stay that way. They also require you to put the information you learned about pool care into practice. The best way to do this is to create a weekly schedule for all your pool care activities. It can be best to stagger the cleaning activities so it does not all pile up at once, and if you live a busy life and do not have time to properly maintain your pool, you could always hire a pool cleaning company to ensure that your pool is always in prime swimming condition.

      Observe and Report. If you can implement everything you've learned about pool care,  you will be well on your way to becoming a successful pool owner. However, a key part of being a pool owner is being vigilant about how your pool is holding up. By keeping an eye on your pool equipment, you can not only prevent a disaster in your pool but avoid a financial headache as well. Things like maintaining seals, checking for leaks, paying attention to any sounds that are out of the ordinary can all save you from potential issues that may arise in your pool.

      Source: LOOP-LOC

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 5 Ways Technology is Transforming Hearing Aids

      16 September 2019

      (Family Features)--Around 37.5 million adults in the United States report some trouble hearing, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). However, it is an undertreated condition with the NIH also estimating 28.8 million adults with mild to severe hearing loss could benefit from hearing aids. Thanks to ever-evolving technology, devices that improve hearing loss are more user-friendly than ever. 

      Of course, today's hearing aids help people hear better, but technology also is revolutionizing the way people use their hearing aids. For example, people can now use them like a headset to enjoy music, take calls and more, simply by streaming sound directly from their mobile devices.

      If you're considering a hearing aid for yourself or a loved one, or are just intrigued by how technology is changing the future for those who experience hearing loss, consider these five technology advancements that are helping people connect and hear better:

      1) Rechargeable batteries. The tedious chore of changing hearing aid batteries is a thing of the past. Now you can have hearing aids with rechargeable batteries and portable chargers. Recharging at home is simple: an overnight charge is all they typically need to be ready again in the morning. Some models even feature batteries and chargers that can be ready to go another 8 hours on just 30 minutes of charge time. 

      2) Direct streaming from mobile devices. Until recently, only iPhone users have been able to stream music or calls directly to their hearing aids. Now, using updated Bluetooth Low Energy streaming technology, people with hearing aids can stream audio directly from their compatible Android device for more than 12 hours while still preserving 24 hours of battery life before a recharge is needed. Previously, hearing aids that directly streamed from Android devices have relied on "classic Bluetooth, which can cut 24 hours of hearing aid battery usage in half after only 4 hours of direct streaming.

      3) More natural sound. The latest microprocessing technology means hearing aids deliver a clearer, fuller and richer sound experience in any listening situation. Now users can hear the textured tones that make everything from a dinner conversation to a quick joke to a theater performance more fulfilling. Technology is also able to help people manage situational changes, make conversations and ambient noise sound more natural and allow users to choose which sounds to focus on. The hearing aids can even make automatic adjustments to account for sudden loud noises.

      4) Smartphone apps make it easy. Hearing aid users can use smartphone apps to discreetly manage device functions, such as checking battery status and adjusting volume to using more advanced fine-tuning features that control speech focus, noise and wind filters. Some apps even offer a "find my hearing aid" feature.  

      5) Tech-enabled customer care. Working with a hearing-care professional is essential in treating hearing loss and maximizing the benefits of hearing aids, but it doesn't mean you have to spend time trekking back and forth to your audiologist's office. For example, Beltone's Remote Care program enables users to connect directly with their hearing care professional via the HearMax app. After submitting a request, users can adjust their hearing aids with a simple tap on their phones without an office visit.

      Source: Beltone

      Published with permission from RISMedia.