Consumer Real Estate News

    • 5 Ways to Turn Your Backyard Into a Romantic Summer Getaway

      12 July 2019

      Hoping to add some romance to your summer season but don't quite have the bank roll? Pool fence manufacturer LOOP-LOC offers the following insights for creating a romantic staycation at home. 

      Pool owners, spend time in the pool. Nothing is more romantic than a late night dip in the pool. If you're a pool owner, take a midnight splash with your significant other in the pool this summer.

      Bring on the florals. Flowers are a classic romantic gesture, and classics are classics for a reason. Give your yard a taste of classic romance with well-placed colorful florals. Whether you plant an entire garden or strategically place a few flower pots around an ideal area, the tone will be set just right and romance will be in the air.

      Design the patio you desire. Summer romance is all about desire and passion. Take that a step further and use those feelings as a guide to choosing patio furniture. Find pieces that tie into your home decor patterns as well as maximize outdoor comfort.

      Set up an outdoor dining area. One of the best ways to spend time with a significant other is over the dinner table. Put a spin on your usual dinner plans and set up an intimate dining area in your backyard. You'll be set up for dinner-date success with the right decor and furniture.

      Place a private feature in your yard. There is nothing more romantic than a place that is made for you and your significant other. Create that space with a focal point in a secluded area of your yard. Whether that focal point is a water feature, statue, or simply an exclusive seating area, you and your special someone will have space to escape to when you crave a moment alone.

      Source: LOOP-LOC

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Keep Your Car Safe from Theft This Summer

      12 July 2019

      A stolen car can be financially and emotionally devastating, and an easy way to ruin your summer plans. To help, the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) offers the following four "layers of protection" to guard against vehicle theft all summer long.

      Common Sense — the common sense approach to protection is the easiest and most cost-effective way to thwart would-be thieves. You should always:
      - Remove your keys from the ignition
      - Lock your doors /close your windows
      - Park in a well-lit area

      Warning Device — the second layer of protection is a visible or audible device which alerts thieves that your vehicle is protected. Popular devices include:
      - Audible alarms
      - Steering column collars
      - Steering wheel/brake pedal lock
      - Brake locks
      - Wheel locks
      - Theft deterrent decals
      - Identification markers in or on vehicle
      - VIN etching
      - Micro dot marking

      Immobilizing Device — the third layer of protection is a device that prevents thieves from bypassing your ignition and hot-wiring the vehicle. Some electronic devices have computer chips in ignition keys. Other devices inhibit the flow of electricity or fuel to the engine until a hidden switch or button is activated. Some examples are:
      - Smart keys
      - Fuse cut-offs
      - Kill switches
      - Starter, ignition, and fuel pump disablers
      - Wireless ignition authentication

      Tracking Device — the final layer of protection is a tracking device that emits a signal to police or a monitoring station when the vehicle is stolen. Tracking devices are very effective in helping authorities recover stolen vehicles. Some systems employ "telematics," which combine GPS and wireless technologies to allow remote monitoring of a vehicle. If the vehicle is moved, the system will alert the owner and the vehicle can be tracked via computer.

      Source: National Insurance Crime Bureau

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 5 Tips for Capturing Purr-fect Pictures of Your Cat

      12 July 2019

      (Family Features)--Cats are naturally curious, and while that can make them entertaining and engaging pets, it doesn't always lead to the best photos. While getting a perfect pet pic is hard enough, a frisky, playful or defiant cat can make a photo op nearly impossible.

      These tips, captured by the pet experts at the TEMPTATIONS™ brand during recent CatCon in Pasadena, Calif., can help you capture the best photos of your furry feline friends.

      Forget the Flash. Classic portrait photography rules also apply to feline photography, especially when it comes to lighting. Beware of your camera's flash, as it could distract or frighten your cat. Plus, it might lead to red eyes in photos. Disabling your camera's shutter sound, if possible, can also help minimize distracting noises during your photo shoots.

      Capture Your Cat's Attention. Getting your cat to look where you want him or her to may be easier than you think. A simple shake of a bag of treats can get your cat to turn his or her head to the irresistible treats, allowing you to capture a photo with an attentive cat. This trick also works if you need to coax your kitty out of a hiding spot. Just one shake should have your cat come running.

      Play on Your Cat's Personality. Instead of a stiff, staged photo, capture your cat's personality by setting up a playtime photo shoot. Your pet will have fun while you take candid pictures that show his or her unique, playful personality. It helps to know your cat's tendencies well when planning a photo shoot. Some cats have more energy to play earlier in the day, while others might behave better after expelling some energy with more rigorous playtime.

      Discover Different Angles. Try taking pictures at your cat's eye level. Whether he or she is crouching and preparing for the pounce or curiously swatting at a toy, capturing his or her face and eyes can help create captivating photos and memories of lovable kitty expressions. Plus, taking photos from a distance may cause your cat to lose focus and interest.

      Find a Friend. A simple but often overlooked tip is to enlist a friend. Having an assistant photographer during your shoot can allow one of you to use props, shake a bag of treats, change scenery and direct your cat while the other focuses on snapping the best shots.

      Source: TEMPTATIONS Cat Treats Family Features Editorial Syndicate

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 4 Ways to Connect with Your Cat

      11 July 2019

      (Family Features)--In addition to playing with a laser pointer and offering endless cuddle sessions, there are many more ways to connect with your favorite feline. Cats are curious by nature, and in order for them to stay happy and healthy, they need lots of love and care from their parents.

      Research shows pets give owners a greater sense of purpose, so it's important to return the favor by showing how much you care. To feel a deep connection with their owners, cats should feel like they're living their best lives, and much of that stems from feeding and playful interactions.

      Following these tips can help deepen your relationship with your furry pal.

      Develop a Hygiene Routine – One way to strengthen your relationship is to show your cat how much you care about his or her health and overall well-being, and keeping his or her coat shiny and soft is a place to start. Treating your cat to a nightly routine of brushing can be a one-on-one bonding experience.

      Reward with Treats – Whether you're working on training your cat or just want to encourage your furry pal to practice good behavior, consider giving rewards. 

      Understand Boundaries – As curious creatures, cats need their own spaces to explore. Give your pet an area to call his or her own to show you understand his or her needs. For example, a cat tree to climb on helps exert energy and provides an area for a favorite activity, like taking a catnap.

      Fuel Your Feline – Cats naturally prefer what's best for them – food that energizes them inside and out. Providing your feline with the best possible fuel can help you show your love. Look for options made with natural, recognizable and non-GMO ingredients.

      Source: Family Features Editorial Syndicate 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Summer Water Conservation Tips

      11 July 2019

      Summer can mean a long, hot season for certain areas of the country. But even if your area is not seeing a draught, it's important to keep water conservation in mind.

      "Not only is water conservation good for the environment, it's also good for your budget," says Max Rose, owner of Four Seasons Plumbing. "Making sure you're conserving water wherever you can will definitely cut down on your monthly bills." 

      Consider Rose's summer-friendly water saving tips:

      Cut the tap while brushing – Doing so can save up to four gallons a minute, which translates to 200 gallons a week for a family of four. Turn the faucet off after wetting your brush and keep it off until you're ready to rinse. Installing aerators at each tap will also help further reduce consumption.

      Find hidden leaks and fix the obvious ones – Even a small drip from a faucet can waste gallons of water daily. Read your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the reading changes, it's likely you have a hidden leak in the home. Contacting a licensed and insured professional to service leaks can help prevent costly water damage and eliminate further waste.

      Choose durable fixtures and plumbing – Identify what type of water pipes are in the home. Gray plastic water pipes are made of polybutylene and are the culprit of water damage in many homes. If your pipes are made of copper and the property is on a well, have the water tested for acidity. Acidic water can corrode copper pipes and cause leaks.

      Only wash full loads – When using your dishwasher or washing machine, make sure you don't start a cycle unless it is completely full. Many appliances will use the same amount of water regardless of the load of dishes or clothes, and half-loads can add up to gallons of wasted water.

      Go to the car wash – With the warmer weather, it may be tempting to wash your car on your own. However, going to an actual car wash facility can save a substantial amount of water. Most car washes actually recycle their water in the early rinse and detergent phases, and they treat their waste-water before disposal, another win for the environment.

      "Summers can already be expensive for homeowners due to the increase in energy bills from keeping homes air conditioned and comfortable," Rose says. "A great way to counteract those expenses is by saving on your water bills with these easy tips."

      Source: Four Seasons Plumbing

      Published with permission from RISMedia.