Real Estate News

    • Everything You Need to Know About Garbage

      3 June 2020

      No one wants to think too much about garbage, but it’s actually pretty important, especially when you move into a new home. That’s because without the right equipment and without knowledge of your town’s rules and regulations regarding collection, you can end up with uncollected trash, and a smelly situation.

      Know the schedule: Your local township’s website should let you know when garbage pickup is in your neighborhood. It’s best to put everything out the night before, in case your sanitation workers come very early in the morning. Also find out which holidays affect pickup, and when the makeup day is.

      Recycling regulations: Virtually all municipalities have some sort of system involving recycling. Chances are you’ll have to separate glass, cardboard, and newspaper, but you’ll need to find out if your town provides receptacles for these or if you need to get your own.

      Other rules: Most towns have standards regarding putting your garbage out. For example, if Monday is your trash collection day, you may not be allowed to put your garbage out earlier than, say, 3 p.m. on Sunday.

      In the fall, find out when leaf collection is, and if leaves need to be bagged or simply raked to the curb. There also may be limits on the size and weight of garbage cans, and restrictions on the collection of items such as electronics and pool chemicals.

      Buy the right garbage can: This may seem simple, but there are a lot of options out there. Obviously, you need a garbage can because putting bags out at your curb is an invitation for animals to invade your trash for food. But wind can knock over cans or blow the lid off, which creates the same situation. Invest in a quality garbage can that is sturdy and isn’t easy to tip over, and which has an attached lid.

      Special pickup: Let’s say you take on a home improvement project, such as installing a new floor or renovating your bathroom. This is likely to create a large amount of trash and debris that cannot be placed in cans. Your town may have regulations as to how to prepare these things for collection, or you may need to rent special bins or receptacles. Otherwise, you may be responsible for carting the materials to your local municipal dump.

      Following local trash collection regulations can make your life easier, and help you become a good neighbor.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 5 Strange Household Items to Clean With

      3 June 2020

      Did you know you can clean your home with toothpaste? How about ketchup? Whether you want to avoid using harsh chemicals, run out of cleaner and don’t want to take a trip to the store, or are just looking to get creative with what you have, below are five strange items you can clean your home with.

      Toothpaste. Do you notice hard water stains on the exterior of your home or car windows? A little toothpaste can take care of that. Choose a non-gel variety, squirt a bit of paste onto a clean, damp rag, and rub in a circular motion to remove the stains. Wipe down with a clean, wet sponge or cloth to remove paste residue.

      Ketchup. America’s favorite condiment also makes a terrific cleaner for brass, jewelry and silver. Why? The tomatoes in ketchup up its acetic acid content to around 4 percent.

      Olive oil. Is your coffee or dining room table riddled with rings from cold or warm beverages? Buff it out with a mixture of olive oil and salt, and remember to stay patient. The mixture can take several hours to take effect.

      Vinegar. There are myriad ways to use white vinegar to clean your home. Make a mixture of half vinegar, half water to clean your walls, counters, shelves, fridge, and more. Have a pesky clogged drain? Skip the harsh chemical-ridden products. Simply dump two tablespoons of baking soda down the drain and follow it with a cup of vinegar for a fizzy, clean effect.

      Salt. Salt, especially when combined with an acid, makes surfaces sparkle. Use salt and lemon juice to buff your stainless-steel appliances. Because it’s absorbent, salt is also a natural odor eliminator you could sprinkle in your stinky, post-workout sneakers.

      Do these strange, yet inexpensive, household cleaning tips sound intriguing enough to try out around your home? If so, have some fun!

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 5 Tips for 1st Foods for Babies

      3 June 2020

      (Family Features) Ask any parent what he or she remembers most about a child’s first year and you’re likely to hear quite a bit about sleep schedules. However, a baby’s eating schedule is just as important as his or her sleep.

      While feeding a baby seems like it should be simple, for some new parents it can be nerve-wracking and lead to plenty of questions, such as: “Should I breastfeed or bottle feed?” “How much should my baby eat?” “When should I start baby food?” “What should my baby’s first foods be?”

      To help navigate first-year feeding, consider these tips from the experts at KinderCare.

      Let babies eat as much as they need, when they need it.
      Be prepared to feed your baby soon after he or she shows signs of hunger, like rooting; sucking on hands, toes, clothes or toys; or reaching for food. Let your baby tell you when he or she is full – like turning away, falling asleep or losing interest in eating. This helps your baby learn to eat when hungry and stop when full, even if it means not eating everything you offer.

      Choose a feeding style that meets you and your baby’s needs.
      Whether you breastfeed or use a bottle, the important thing is your baby is fed. If you breastfeed, it’s a good idea to express some milk now and again so your baby will take a bottle if someone else needs to feed him or her.

      Understand when it’s time to start baby food.
      While most babies are introduced to solid foods around 6 months of age, it depends on their individual development. Generally, if your baby can sit up on his or her own, has good neck and head control and shows interest – like reaching for food during mealtimes – it may be appropriate to try solid food.

      Focus on exploration.
      It’s important to provide your baby with a variety of foods free from added sugars, sodium and artificial ingredients, and let him or her explore rather than focusing on how much is eaten.

      “Focus on introducing veggies, proteins, grains and fruit – in that order,” said Courtney Hines, KinderCare’s nutritionist. “Babies are naturally inclined to prefer sweet things so save fruit for last so your baby is more inclined to try other flavors.”

      Make the transition gradual and fun.
      Hines recommends gradually exposing babies to a wide variety of whole, unprocessed foods with varying flavors and textures, and talking with your baby about the taste, feel and look of the foods he or she is trying. Starting with soft foods like mashed potatoes, avocadoes, sweet potatoes, cooked rice and bananas can give you an idea of what your child can handle.

      It’s easy to focus on baby food stages, but transitioning to solid foods will take place over time, making it important to continue offering your baby a bottle before mealtimes, in addition to solid food. Once your baby reaches his or her first birthday, talk with your family doctor about transitioning from breast milk or formula to unflavored, whole-fat milk.

      It’s important to remember that every baby develops at his or her own pace. Talk with your child’s doctor about the right pace for your baby, and find more tips to navigate your child’s major milestones at

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Steer Clear of Devious Scams Increasing in COVID-19 Climate

      2 June 2020

      Does it seem like your phone is ringing more often these days? By some estimates, Americans received 30 percent fewer unsolicited or robocalls in April than they did in March, and 40 percent fewer than in February - primarily because as the novel coronavirus swept across the globe, most call centers abroad were shuttered to comply with social distancing restrictions.

      But now, as restrictions are more broadly lifted worldwide, those call centers are ramping up again, and so are the number of unwanted calls.

      Worse, according to the Federal Trade Commission, with so many people working from home right now, and/or filing claims, awaiting checks or negotiating with financial institutions, we have become more attractive targets than ever for scammers, swindlers, and “phishers.”

      Before you answer your next phone call from a stranger, beware of these common tactics used by scammers to steal your ID and/or money.

      • Impersonation. A caller identifies himself as a representative of your bank, credit card company, even the FBI or police, and asks for your credit card number, your Social Security number or other identification in order to resolve an unauthorized charge or alleged crime. Your best response is to hang up, call the institution yourself and ask if they are trying to reach you.
      • Intimidation. A caller tells you a family member needs bail money, an IRS audit requires immediate payment, or you are about to be arrested for non-payment. Hang up and stay calm. The IRS does not call for payment, you know you have done nothing to warrant arrest, and you can check on the family member named to reassure yourself nothing is amiss.
      • Promised riches. A swindler says you won a sweepstakes but need to pay the entry fee, you are eligible for a no-risk investment, or you have been chosen to purchase something valuable at a huge discount. Phone pitches that ask for cash, credit card information or a small favor in return for riches are almost always scams.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Practical Tips for Caregivers Facing a Pandemic

      2 June 2020

      (Family Features) Whether your role as a caregiver has you looking out for an elderly relative, children or both, chances are good that you’ve worried about how the COVID-19 pandemic may continue to affect your ability to provide necessary care.


      Following the most up to date guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the first step for caregivers who are looking after loved ones. As caregivers continue to adjust during the pandemic, keep these considerations in mind:


      Contact health care providers to obtain extra necessary medications and stock up on over-the-counter drugs.

      Monitor needed medical supplies related to a loved one’s condition or treatments (oxygen, incontinence, dialysis, wound care, etc.) and common supplies such as tissues and cough syrup.

      Those with a loved one in a long-term care facility should inquire about any positive COVID-19 cases in the facility, testing procedures for the residents and staff members and be aware of the facility’s protocol if there is an outbreak or positive tests among residents and staff.

      These additional tips can help caregivers reduce the pandemic’s impact:

      Make backup plans. Most caregivers have plans in place for temporary assistance when things go awry, but COVID-19 is putting many of those short-term solutions to the test. It’s a good time to pull in additional resources so you have extra help waiting if someone you’re counting on falls ill or can’t fill in as planned. A meal delivery service may be a good option if grocery shopping and meal preparation continue to be affected.

      Reduce exposure. Those who take care of loved ones in their homes or are regular care providers to family members and friends have concerns about exposing this vulnerable group to the virus. Many long-term care facilities have changed their visitation policies. You might be able to visit a loved one through a window, via a balcony or through video chat. It’s also important to minimize time spent out in the community where you could unknowingly contract the virus and pass it to a vulnerable loved one.

      Shop smart. Because supermarkets and stores with goods identified as “essential” are still bustling with people, it’s important to minimize extra trips and wear a mask when in public. If possible, drop groceries and essentials at the door or arrange for delivery. In addition, some major pharmacies, where AARP members get special benefits on health, wellness and beauty purchases, have introduced special shopping hours for seniors and drive-thru shopping options to minimize person-to-person contact.

      Reschedule wellness appointments. Not only are doctor’s offices short on resources, a waiting room can be filled with germs that may cause illness. Try to arrange for telephone or video-based appointments when possible and cancel any appointments that aren’t urgently necessary.

      Keep germs away. Thorough handwashing with soap and water is critical. In addition to washing hands after eating and using the restroom, anyone entering and leaving the house should wash his or her hands. Also wipe down high-touch surfaces like doorknobs, remotes and phone keypads.

      Combat boredom. Despite the good intentions of staying away, social isolation can be a real concern for seniors. Practicing social distancing is important for their health, but you can help keep them engaged by increasing phone, video and online interaction, and encouraging family and friends to do the same. If your loved one doesn’t already have a cell phone, contract-free plans are available with free activation and special rates for senior users. Many long-term care facilities also offer social distancing activities for residents.

      Find more resources for caregivers at

      Published with permission from RISMedia.