Consumer Real Estate News

    • 5 Facts About Handicap-Accessible Parking

      20 June 2018

      (Family Features)--Handicap-accessible parking plays a critical role in giving wheelchair users independence and mobility, making it important to understand the rules of the parking lot. To bring awareness to the challenges wheelchair users face, BraunAbility offers these reminders:

      1. The striped lines next to a handicap-accessible parking space indicate it is reserved for a wheelchair-accessible vehicle. These spaces are wider than regular handicap accessible parking spaces, offering room for people to safely lower a ramp and enter and exit their vehicles.

      2. There is a difference between handicap accessible parking for cars and wheelchair-accessible vans. When the parking sign says, "Accessible Vans," it is reserved for wheelchair-accessible vehicles only. Van accessible spaces are easily identified by a striped access aisle on the passenger side.

      3. Some people have hidden disabilities, and it may not be visibly apparent that they need a handicap-accessible spot. Not all people who require handicap parking access are reliant on wheelchairs. These spots are also intended for use by people with disabilities such as deafness or a recent injury.

      4. Businesses are required to meet a quota for handicap accessible spots. The number of handicap accessible parking spaces required depends on the total number of parking spaces in the lot, but at least one in every six handicap accessible spaces must be designated for a wheelchair accessible vehicle, according to the American Disabilities Act.

      5. Wheelchairs continue to increase in size, requiring more room to maneuver in and out of vehicles and, therefore, need extra space in a parking spot for the wheelchair user to safely access a fully deployed ramp.
      Source: BraunAbility

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Safety Tips for the Year's Hottest Months

      20 June 2018

      When temperatures are at their highest, there is a wide range of health and safety we need to be aware of, says The National Safety Council (NSC), which provides

      comprehensive tips on how to stay safe in the summertime at In general it’s wise to stay hydrated and limit outdoor activity on very hot days. Apply sunscreen and wear loose, light clothing and a hat.

      But heat accidents can happen, and it is important to understand how heat affects our bodies and how to handle the most common heat emergencies:

      Heatstroke – Heatstroke occurs when the ability to sweat fails, causing body temperature to rise rapidly. The brain and vital organs may begin to be ‘cooked’ as body heat rises, and the damage may be permanent, even fatal. People experiencing heatstroke will have extremely hot skin and may appear to be confused.  If you suspect heatstroke:

      - Move the person to a half-sitting position in the shade

      - Call 911 for emergency medical help

      - Spray the victim with water and/or fan them vigorously

      - If humidity is high, apply an ice pack in the armpits

      - Do not give the victim anything to drink

      Heat exhaustion – Athletes and people who work outdoors are susceptible to heat exhaustion, which occurs when the body loses an excessive amount of salt and water. While less serious than heatstroke, the most common symptoms are fatigue, headache, nausea or vomiting along with profuse sweating, clammy skin or rapid pulse. If you suspect heat exhaustion:

      - Move the victim to a cooler or air-conditioned space

      - Give water or another cool, non-alcoholic drink

      - Apply wet towels and, when possible, have the victim take a cool shower

      Heat cramps – Heat cramps are painful muscle spasms, usually in the legs or abdominal muscle, that occur after vigorous physical activity when sweating causes decreased salt levels. In the case of heat cramps, have the victim:

      - Sit or lie down in the shade

      - Drink cool water or a sports drink

      - Stretch the affected muscles

      - Seek medical attention if the cramping lasts more than an hour

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 5 Ways to Cool Your House Without AC

      20 June 2018

      Struggling to make it through the summer without AC? The following hacks can help cool your space without wrecking your utility bills.

      Close drapes. Drapes may feel counterintuitive to cooling down your home, but pulling them closed in the sunniest hours can block strong rays from your windows and help stop your home from heating up. Better yet, snag light-colored blackout curtains and use those.

      Limit heat-producing appliances. Ovens are an obvious no-no in the summer months, but your hair dryer, flat iron and clothing iron can all make rooms - or at least, you - feel warmer.

      Frost your fan. This is more about cooling your body than your home, but it's lovely at night as you sleep, or if you're prone to sitting still at a desk for several hours. Grab a mixing bowl, fill it with ice or a frosty ice pack, and set it at an angle in front of a large box fan, pointed toward you. The fan will pick up the cool air and blow it right in your direction.  

      Dehumidify. While getting a plug-in dehumidifier will not necessarily cool your house, it will strip humidity from the air, which can help you feel more comfortable, and most models draw less energy than a window AC unit. Bonus: A dehumidifier will extend the life of your furniture, and can even help prevent wood floors and doors from warping over time.

      Reverse that overhead fan. Ahhh, the good old overhead fan trick. By setting your fan to run counter-clockwise in the summer, warm air will be pulled away from you.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Red Cross: Get Ready for Hurricane Season Now

      19 June 2018

      The Atlantic hurricane season started on June 1, and forecasters are reporting we could once again see above-normal storm activity between now and when hurricane season ends in November.

      Whether you or someone you love lives in a hurricane prone area or not, the following ten preparation tips from the Red Cross are great steps to take in advance of any storm:

      - Talk with household members about what to do if a hurricane strikes and create an evacuation plan. Talking about it ahead of time will help ease fears, especially in younger children.

      - Build an emergency kit in an easy-to-carry container with items including a gallon of water per person, per day, non-perishable food, a flashlight, battery-powered radio, first aid kit, medications, and supplies for infants and pets.

      - Be informed. Learn about your community's hurricane-response plan. Plan routes to local shelters and register family members with special medical needs as required.

      - Get access to NOAA radio broadcasts. Purchase a battery-powered or hand-crank NOAA weather radio in the Red Cross Store.

      - Keep important papers and valuables in a safe deposit box in a place less likely to see flooding damage. You can take pictures with your phone or keep copies on a flash drive to carry with you on your keys.

      - Protect windows with permanent storm shutters or invest in one-half inch marine plywood that is pre-cut to fit your doors and windows.

      - Identify a place to store lawn furniture, toys, gardening tools and trash cans (away from stairs and exits) to prevent them from being moved by high winds and possibly hurting someone.

      - Clear clogged rain gutters and downspouts.

      - Download the free Red Cross Emergency App (text 'GETEMERGENCY' to 90999) for expert guidance on what to do before, during and after hurricanes as well as 34 other types of emergencies.

      - Take a First Aid and CPR/Course ( to learn what to do in case emergency help is delayed.

      Source: American Red Cross

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Trick Your Way to a Bigger Bathroom

      19 June 2018

      (Family Feature)--When knocking down walls to create more space isn't an option, there are still plenty of ways you can maximize a small bathroom space to make it look and feel larger than it really is.

      Opt for monochromatic cabinetry. Whether you buy new or paint existing cabinets, make them blend in monochromatically in the lightest shade possible. White and light colors reflect light, making the room seem brighter and more spacious. To maximize the illusion, extend the monochromatic scheme throughout the space, including floor tiles, wall paint, ceilings and even the decorations.

      Place cabinets strategically. Think of the spaces in your bathroom that you don't usually use, such as the area above the doorway. Especially if you have high ceilings, you can install decorative storage shelves to house items you don't need in everyday reach like bathtub salts, scrubs and more. You can also use the shelves for storing extra toilet paper and cleaners to free up valuable storage space below the sink.

      Maximize vertical space. Consider extending cabinets up to the ceiling. Adding color at a vertical height can cause the eye to go up and, therefore, enlarge the bathroom space and feel. It is also a wise use of unused space rather than borrowing from limited floor space, which can make the space feel cramped.

      Consider open storage. Open storage shelves trick the mind because the airy openness can give the illusion of taking less space than enclosed storage. However, be mindful of over-filling shelves, which can create a cluttered look. Instead use the open space as an opportunity to feature artwork or other accents that add life to the room.

      Source: Wellborn Cabinet, Inc.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.