Sears Real Estate



Posted by Sears Real Estate on 5/30/2016

Sunscreen is essential but buying sunscreen can be very confusing. From water resistant sunscreens to SPF to broad spectrum protection, it is hard to know what you need to keep your skin safe this summer. Sunscreens protect you from the sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation from reaching your skin. There are two types of ultraviolet radiation, UVA and UVB. They both damage your skin and increase your risk of skin cancer. The difference between UVA and UVB Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is part of the electromagnetic (light) spectrum that reaches the earth from the sun. Ultraviolet A (UVA) is the longer wave UV ray that causes lasting skin damage, skin aging, and can cause skin cancer. Ultraviolet B (UVB) is the shorter wave UV ray that causes sunburns, skin damage, and can cause skin cancer. The definition of SPF SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. The SPF number on sunscreen is a measure of a sunscreen's ability to prevent UVB from damaging the skin. The number of the SPF is how long it will take the sun to redden the skin. For example, SPF 15 sunscreen theoretically prevents reddening 15 times longer than no sunscreen at all– about five hours. What is broad spectrum? Sunscreens that have broad-spectrum protect the skin from both UVA and UVB rays. Beginning in December 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will implement new rules for "broad-spectrum" products. New sunscreen rules Here are some of the new rules The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued for labels on sunscreen. • Sunscreens may be labeled “broad- spectrum” if they provide protection against both UVA and UVB radiation according to FDA-sanctioned test methods. • Only broad-spectrum sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or higher may state that they protect against skin cancer if used as directed with other sun protection measures. • Broad-spectrum sunscreens with SPFs of 2-14 must display a warning that the product has not been shown to help prevent skin cancer or early skin aging. • The terms “sunblock,” “sweatproof” and “waterproof” are no longer allowed on sunscreen labels. • Sunscreens may claim to be “water-resistant,” but must specify whether they protect the skin for 40 or 80 minutes of swimming or sweating, based on standard testing. Sunscreens that are not water-resistant must instruct consumers to use a water-resistant sunscreen if swimming or sweating. • A company cannot claim that its sunscreen products provide sun protection for more than two hours without submitting test results to prove this.      




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Posted by Sears Real Estate on 5/9/2016

The housing market has been heating up and lately there seems to be more buyers than homes. So where do you start when house hunting? Many buyers like to start at Open Houses to get a feel for the market. It is always best to try to find a real estate agent to help guide you through the buying process , however, if you want to try to get your feet wet first an Open House might be your best bet. There are some things you will want to know about how to tackle an Open House: 1. How do you find Open Houses? Your best bet is to find a real estate professional that represents buyers and have them help you find Open Houses that are right for you. Agents are familiar with the inventory and could save you an unnecessary trip to a house that isn't right for you. Most open houses take place on Saturday or Sunday, so Thursday is a good day to start your search. 2. Be prepared Plan your route, make sure you have the right directions and have plenty of gas to get where you are going. Take along a pen and paper to make notes on properties. 3. Get to know the area The house may be great; but how is the area? Take the time to drive around the surrounding neighborhoods of homes you like and get to know the area. A real estate professional is a great resource for community information. 4. Check for agency Most agents at an Open House represent the seller. You will want to work with an agent that is able to represent you as the buyer. If you like the agent at the Open House, and have not yet contracted with an agent, make sure to discuss agency and representation. 5. Take notes Take notes and write down a list of quick pros and cons after you have viewed a home. This will help you remember the houses you have viewed. Viewing Open Houses can help you get a sense for what’s out there in the marketplace. It will help you determine if the house you want and your finances match up with the houses that are on the market. It is always best to find a real estate professional to help you find the home of your dreams. Buying a home is no small matter.





Posted by Sears Real Estate on 2/22/2016

It is a great time to be a real-estate investor. If you are looking to jump in the investor market low home prices and low interest rates make this a great time. According to Zillow.com. the real-estate market is starting to recover: U.S. houses lost $489 billion in value during the first 11 months of 2009, but that was significantly lower than the $3.6 trillion lost during 2008 and things only continue to look up. While the timing may be right, you will need to have all your ducks in a row. An investment purchase is different than your typical purchase. Consider your options. Have a strategy and know what kind of investor you would like to be. Ask yourself if you want to be a landlord, or are you planning on flipping or restoring and reselling properties. What types of properties are you interested in? There are many choices from land, to apartment buildings, residential housing and other commercial real estate. Partner with experience. Real estate agents experienced in investment property deals know what to look for in a deal. You may also want to consider asking a more experienced real-estate investor for advice. If you plan on becoming a landlord make sure to familiarize yourself with the local laws regarding being a landlord. Location, location, location. If you buy a property with hopes of renting it out, location is key. Homes in high-rent or highly populated areas are ideal; stay away from rural areas where there are fewer people and a small pool of potential renters. Also, look for homes with multiple bedrooms and bathrooms in neighborhoods that have a low crime rate. Also think about potential selling points for your property. If it's near public transportation, shopping malls or other amenities, it will attract renters, as well as potential buyers if you decide to sell later. The more you have to offer, the more likely you are to please potential renters. Have capital lined up. Speak to potential lenders or a financial planner about what you will need for assets and cash flow. You will need to have enough assets to handle the ups and downs that could come with investing. Most experts suggest a fallback of about six months of mortgage payments for landlords. You will need this in case or vacancy or repairs. If you're planning to fix up a home and sell it, you will need reserves to cover the costs to maintain the home while it is on the market. Becoming a real-estate investor is much different than being a residential homebuyer. A buying decision is a business decision not one based on emotions.





Posted by Sears Real Estate on 8/10/2015

Living in an apartment can sometimes be a frustrating experience. Paying rent every month makes you feel like you are throwing money away. Today's housing market makes it a great time to buy and in some cases you can buy a home for less money than you are paying in rent. Living in an apartment with tenants above or below you in some older apartments can be noisy. Single family homes do not have this problem, as none of the walls in your home will be attached to any other home in your neighborhood. This in turn means that you will have more privacy, and more importantly, there will be less noise coming from your neighbors, no matter what time of the day it is. Another reason why owning your own home is so great is because you will generally have your own yard, allowing you to have outside furniture, gardens and entertain which can be harder to do in an apartment When it comes to shopping for a home, it is important that you do a good amount of research beforehand. While single family homes do have a lot of advantages, you have to make sure to take your time and find that perfect home for you. Some things to think about is location, neighborhood, schools, and being close to amenities like shopping, restaurants or other places that may be important to you. One of the best ways to research for homes is on this website. This website is updated every 15 minutes with new listings, price changes, back on markets and open houses. This will allow you to easily browse through homes for sale until you find the perfect home for your needs. Bottom line is buying a home today can be a great invest down the road and can come with a lot of benefits over renting. Feel free to call if you would like help in buying or selling your real estate.





Posted by Sears Real Estate on 4/6/2014

There is a lot to know when it comes to senior housing. Thinking about future housing arrangements can be a stressful topic for both you and your family. There are so many options, types of housing and so much to know. In order to find the best fit you will have to learn about the different types of senior housing available, which choices may be best for you, and how to navigate the terminology. A great resource SeniorHousingNet has created a glossary of commonly used terms and the different senior housing and care choices available. You can find it here.