Latest Real Estate News


    • How to Protect Your Delivery Packages From Thieves

      27 September 2021

      With the rise of online shopping, we now buy a wide range of items over the internet and have them conveniently shipped right to our doorsteps. However, delivery packages are easy targets for watchful thieves, often called “porch pirates.”

      In fact, studies suggest millions of packages are stolen from doorsteps across the country every year, especially during the holidays. Just imagine buying an expensive gift for your significant other or the toy your child has been begging for all year–only for it to get swiped outside your home by some crook!

      To help ensure your packages are delivered to you safe and secure, the Better Business Bureau offers the following tips:

      Track your packages. Follow shipments from the seller to your front door with online, text message or phone call tracking offered through the delivery company. Sign up for alerts to be notified of delays or exceptions and when the package has been delivered.

      Request a signature. This package delivery feature will likely come with a fee, but without a recipient’s signature, the delivery service won’t be able to leave a package exposed on a doorstep.

      Use your credit card. When making purchases online, use your credit card rather than a debit card or another form of payment. Credit card companies are more likely to offer refunds in the event of theft.

      Insure valuable items. Purchase delivery insurance to protect merchandise against loss or damage. Contact your local police department if you do become a victim of package theft.

      Check with online retailers. Many online retailers offer alternative delivery options. Check to see if they offer a shipping choice that allows you to pick up your items at a delivery hub near you.

      Check with your employer. Some employers will allow package delivery to your place of work for safe keeping.

      Ask your neighbors. If you know people that work out of their home or stay at home that live near you, ask them to look out for your deliveries.

      With these tips, you’ll be able to protect your delivery packages and truly benefit from the convenience of online shopping!

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 5 Tips for Frugal Urban Living

      27 September 2021

      Urban living is expensive—especially for recent college graduates who are living their dream of getting a good first job in the big city. But successful urban living, financial advisors say, is all about being thoughtful and learning to spend wisely and well.

      • Know the 3 Ns: Necessities, Nest Egg and Non-Essentials - Necessities, like rent, food, clothing and transportation, should take no more than 50% of your income. Aim for a nest egg—savings in an interest-bearing account that includes cash enough for three month’s expenses or emergencies, plus a chunk of your monthly income going into a retirement account—and designate no more than 20% of your income for discretionary items such as entertainment, dining out, vacations and other non-essentials.
      • Know the 4 Rs: Reduce, Repair, Reuse, Recycle - Before you buy something, ask yourself: Do I really need it? Can I buy it second-hand or trade for it? Can I recycle or repurpose something I already have? Can I find it on the cheap? Get acquainted with local websites devoted to buying and trading used merchandise.
      • Stick to a List - Resist impulsive buying. Whether it’s groceries, clothing, household goods or non-essentials, make a list of what you need and do your best to stick to it when you shop. And a good piece of advice...never do your grocery shopping on an empty stomach!
      • Try Not to Pay Full Price - Clip coupons, download apps and sign up for loyalty programs. Check the internet for books and tips on purchasing almost anything you need at a discount. Facebook Marketplace is a good place to start looking for preowned items at affordable prices.
      • Put People Over Things - Money can’t buy relationships. Even casual conversations can lead to friendships, and friends can be your greatest asset. Apart from the emotional support that friends provide, you can live more frugally by cooking together instead of eating out, playing games at home instead of spending on expensive entertainment, and keeping each other on the straight and narrow when it comes to spending wisely.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Nutritious Fall Meals

      27 September 2021

      (Family Features) With a return to busy fall routines, it can be challenging for many families to find the time to sit down at the table for nutritious meals.

      Adding an option like Florida Orange Juice to your family’s routine can help fuel them throughout the day. Whether drinking it on its own or by adding it to recipes like Grilled Turkey Club with Orange Juice-Infused Aioli or Orange Cream Smoothies, you can feel good about incorporating a beverage with essential vitamins and minerals, nutrients for immune system support and no added sugars.

      Diet and Nutritional Benefits
      Both nutritious and delicious, drinking 100% orange juice can increase fruit intake as well as provide key nutrients including vitamin C, potassium, folate, thiamine and magnesium, as well as vitamin D and calcium in fortified juice. Research has found children whose diets include orange juice tend to have healthier diets and higher levels of physical activity compared to those whose do not. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting 100% fruit juice to no more than 4-6 ounces daily for children ages 2-6 and no more than 8 ounces for children ages 7 and older.

      Immune Support
      100% orange juice can help support the immune system by providing a variety of vitamins and minerals. For example, an 8-ounce glass of 100% orange juice is an excellent source of vitamin C, which helps protect cells and promote the production and function of immune cells. An 8-ounce serving of fortified 100% orange juice is a good source of vitamin D, which plays an important role in regulating immune response to help fight off bacteria and viruses that get into the body. Additionally, 100% orange juice has many beneficial plant compounds, flavonoids and colorful carotenoids, which work to support the immune system by fighting inflammation and helping cells communicate with each other.

      No Added Sugar
      Unlike many foods and beverages that contain added sugars, the natural sugar in 100% orange juice comes with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. In fact, a study published in “Frontiers in Nutrition” found children and adults who consumed 100% orange juice had lower intakes of added sugar compared to those who did not.

      “Today, children are consuming fewer fruits and vegetables and missing out on key vitamins and minerals,” said Dr. Rosa Walsh, scientific research director at the Florida Department of Citrus. “Many children have inadequate intake of folate, riboflavin, thiamin, vitamin C, vitamin D, potassium, iron and zinc. This doesn’t have to be the case. A glass of 100% orange juice is a convenient option, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, that counts toward fruit intake and one I know children love. Parents should make sure to look for 100% orange juice on the container. This ensures you are serving a nutrient-dense beverage with no added sugar.”

      Visit floridajuice.com to find more nutritious recipes.

      Grilled Turkey Club With Orange Juice-Infused Aioli

      Orange Juice-Infused Aioli:
      1 cup mayonnaise
      1/2 cup Florida Orange Juice
      2 tablespoons chopped parsley
      2 cloves garlic, grated
      2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

      Turkey Club:
      8 slices multigrain bread
      1 cup watercress
      8 ounces thinly sliced smoked turkey
      4 slices provolone cheese
      nonstick cooking spray

      To make aioli: In a small bowl, whisk mayonnaise, orange juice, parsley, garlic and Dijon mustard.

      To make turkey club: Spread 2-3 teaspoons aioli on four bread slices. Spread watercress on top of aioli. Top watercress with turkey, cheese and remaining bread slices.

      Spray grill pan, electric skillet or cast-iron skillet with nonstick cooking spray and warm over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add sandwiches, cheese side down, and cook until bread is golden brown and the cheese has melted, about 4 minutes. Gently flip and cook 2-3 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown.

      Serve with remaining aioli as dipping sauce.

      Orange Cream Smoothies 
      1 1/2 cups Florida Orange Juice
      2 cups ice
      6 ounces nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt
      1/2 cup vanilla almond or soy milk

      In a blender on medium speed, blend orange juice, ice, Greek yogurt and vanilla almond or soy milk until smooth and creamy.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Home Cleaning Hacks for Fall

      24 September 2021

      (Family Features) Cooler fall temperatures mean you’re likely to spend more time indoors. Taking time to spruce up inside and out can make you more comfortable and give you peace of mind that your home is tidy, clean and prepared to weather the months ahead.

      Tidy Outdoor Spaces
      Before stashing your lawn care equipment, give your home and landscape some end-of-season attention. Use a power washer to clean lawn furniture and store it away from the elements or use covers to protect it. Clean out gutters and remove debris from flower beds to encourage proper drainage.

      Check for Repair Projects
      Give your home a thorough inspection to identify any problems that need attention before cold weather sets in. Look for concerns like loose shutters or siding, cracked or loose shingles, cracks and gaps around doors and windows that may allow moisture or cold air to creep in. Severe weather and cycles of freezing and thawing can exacerbate these problems, so it’s best to make repairs before they result in major damage.

      Eliminate Dirt and Dust
      Moving indoors, take time to remove any dirt and grime that has accumulated. Wash textiles like curtains and rugs. Wipe down kitchen and bathroom surfaces with an antibacterial solution. Dust other parts of the house, including blinds, windowsills, baseboards and other hard-to-reach places.

      When it comes to vacuuming, make sure to keep floors clean and free of outside dirt all season long with an all-around cleaner that can vacuum and mop simultaneously. It provides convenient, efficient, hands-free cleaning you can control via smart home devices. With a built-in HD camera, the AI-powered robot identifies common household obstacles and intelligently determines how to clean around them, while also providing on-demand home monitoring. Complete with laser mapping and navigation technology to scan and map your floors for faster cleaning and fewer missed spots, it is also compatible with an optional, automatic emptying station that allows for up to 30 days of fully maintenance-free cleaning.

      Promote Air Quality
      In addition to keeping floors clean and allergies under control, there are other steps you can take to promote better air quality while you’re spending more time indoors. Scheduling service for your furnace can help ensure it’s in good condition before cold weather hits. This is also a good time to replace your air filter and consider a duct cleaning. Take time to clean ceiling fans and reverse the blades so the air circulates but fans don’t create a chilling effect.

      Swap Seasonal Essentials
      A new season brings change, whether it’s simply swapping out your wardrobe or gearing up for a busy season of school activities and sports. Make time to put away out-of-season clothes and other necessities to make room for the things you’ll need for the autumn months. Keep only the things you need and store the rest to help keep clutter under control.

      Find more tips for efficient fall home maintenance and cleaning at ecovacs.com.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 4 Common Misconceptions About Short Sales

      24 September 2021

      When a homeowner is facing financial hardship and unable to pay a mortgage, the lender may agree to a short sale. That means the lender will agree to accept a sale price below the amount owed on the mortgage so the homeowner can avoid foreclosure. Many people who don’t have personal experience with short sales have been misinformed.

      Misconception #1: You Have to Be Behind on Payments
      Homeowners who are in trouble often think a short sale is only an option if they’ve defaulted on their mortgage, but that isn’t true. A lender may agree to a short sale if a homeowner is struggling to afford the mortgage but has so far managed to scrape together enough money to avoid missing payments.

      If you’ve already received a foreclosure notice, a short sale may or may not be an option, depending on your state’s law and your lender’s policy. In general, if you know you can’t afford your mortgage, you’ll be better off seeking a short sale before you find yourself in dire straits.

      Misconception #2: It’s Tough to Qualify
      Many lenders offer incentives to homeowners facing financial hardships to encourage them to participate in short sales and avoid foreclosure. The short sale process can be complicated and confusing, but an experienced real estate agent can answer your questions and guide you through it.

      Misconception #3: The Lender Won’t Accept a Big Loss
      Some homeowners who are struggling to afford a mortgage think their lender won’t accept a payoff for much less than the balance owed on the mortgage, but in many cases, a company will. Whether a lender acquires a house through a foreclosure or a short sale, the fair market value for the property will be the same when it comes time to resell it. A lender can save itself time and lose less money by agreeing to a short sale.

      Misconception #4: A Short Sale Will Cost You Money You Don’t Have
      You shouldn’t have to pay any upfront costs for advice, and your real estate agent’s commission can be paid by the lender. You might incur a fee if the lender charges you a deficiency, or the difference between the mortgage balance and the sale price. Whether that’ll happen in your case will depend on state law, your lender’s policy and your specific situation.

      Talk to Your Lender and Real Estate Agent
      If you’re facing financial hardship and can’t afford your mortgage, a short sale could help you avoid foreclosure and the devastating long-term effects it could cause. You might be able to purchase another home much sooner after a short sale than you could after a foreclosure. Explain your circumstances to your lender and discuss your options. If you choose to pursue a short sale, your real estate agent can guide you through the process.

      This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional or legal advice.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.