National Realty Centers
17197 N Laurel Park Dr
Livonia MI 48152
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Recipe: Chia Seed Pudding with Chocolate and Berries
This dessert is delicious and healthy.
Place chia seeds, almond milk, maple syrup, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk together.
- 1/4 cup raw chia seeds
- 2 cups vanilla almond milk (or any other kind of milk)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup assorted fresh berries
- Quality dark chocolate for shaving
Cover the bowl and refrigerate. After half an hour, unwrap and stir the mixture well to ensure there are no clumps of gelatinized chia seeds.
Cover and return to refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Stir again before serving. To serve, pour into dessert dishes and top with berries.
Use a vegetable peeler to shave the dark chocolate, and sprinkle shavings over berries.
Ask the Agent: This Month's Question
How do I find out about the area to which I'm relocating?
Looking for a new home in a new city can be a daunting experience, but it needn't be.
Ease the process by having the right team and as much information as possible before you even set foot in your new hometown. Do preliminary research from the palm of your hand with your smartphone. From crime statistics to the best and worst neighborhoods, the Internet is a great place to start.
Try local city guides and user reviews. Learn from the people who live, work, eat and play there every day. StreetAdvisor and TripAdvisor include useful reviews.
Talking to a local real estate agent is key. Ask your current agent to recommend someone in your new town. Use your social networks on- or off-line.
You want to ensure your new house and your new city, becomes a place you can all call home. Research will make it happen.
Inside Your Newsletter this Month...
Is Downsizing the Right Option for You?
Health concerns figure prominently-a bitter reality for older boomers who didn't believe they would ever have difficulty climbing stairs or navigating an older home. The result is that many are considering downsizing. But they still plan to age in place in one sense: Most would prefer to stay in their own neighborhoods with all the familiar comforts of home.
And the numbers are mind-boggling: One in 5 Americans will be 65 or older by 2030 - some 71 million people across the U.S. The impact will affect almost every aspect of society, including healthcare, employment - and, of course, housing.
Especially housing. Across North America, household debt has been growing, particularly in the age group of over 55ers; many seniors may have to-rather than choose to-downsize.
Is downsizing for you?
For those now considering the pros and cons of downsizing, here are some questions you need to ask yourself and your family:
Do I (and/or my spouse) need to downsize for health or financial reasons?
Is it likely that one of us soon won't be able to drive?
Am I hoping to stay near or in my current neighborhood, or move closer to family?
What to do now
You may have difficulty finding what you need in your neighborhood; in most areas, developers have been slow to catch up.
But if downsizing is on your horizon, your first connection should be a good real estate agent who has expertise working with senior buyers. It's also advantageous if your agent has a network of contacts such as lawyers, mortgage professionals, and organizing professionals to help with disposal of your possessions, and staging companies to prepare your home for sale.
Want to Get More ZZZZZZZZs? Log Off
According to the National Sleep Foundation, more than 90% of Americans regularly use a computer or other electronic device before going to bed at night.
Yet research suggests that artificial light from electronic devices disrupts brain chemicals that promote sleep. A study conducted at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and published in Applied Ergonomics journal indicated that exposure to artificial light from iPads or PC tablets suppressed production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates the sleep cycle.
It seems that light from the blue part of the spectrum is the main culprit in inhibiting melatonin production. Smartphones and tablets, which are often illuminated by light-emitting diodes (LEDs), tend to emit more blue light than incandescent products.
One option for blocking blue light is to wear orange-tinted glasses. Another is to cover the screen with a blue-blocking filter. But researchers caution that so-called "blue blockers" have not been adequately tested for effectiveness; it's still best to limit use of brightly lit electronics at night. Also recommended: Use a small screen, dim the screen, and keep the device as far away from the eyes as possible.
Get Your Zen on with Coloring Books for Non-Kids
We loved them as kids; but now coloring books have a new audience: Adults. Coloring books have become a way for stressed-out adults to get their Zen on through a well-remembered and cherished childhood pastime, reinvented for today.
The trend was triggered by Johanna Basford, a Scottish illustrator whose Secret Garden-inspired coloring book is dominating the Amazon hit list. To date, she's already sold 1.4 million copies worldwide-and she's not the only one. Following Johanna are a flurry of other artists with deeply detailed illustrations to color. The objective: to stimulate imagination and mindfulness.
In a recent article in The Guardian, Basford explains the attraction: "For many people, a blank sheet is very daunting," and adds that with a coloring book the lines are already there, so all you have to add is the color.
The result is an opportunity to take a break from our hectic days. Says Basford, "Now it is socially acceptable...These are books for adults."
Using simple pleasures as a way to make sense of an ever-changing world is a relatively new social movement, visible not just in coloring books but in hot new management books: Seth Godin's V is for Vulnerable is for the 9-to-whatever crowd, but Godin has packaged it as if for a child, complete with cartoons.
Stress-coping strategies don't need to be complicated. Sometimes, the best way to de-stress is to sit down and put crayons to paper. Basford concludes, "I think it is really relaxing, to do something analogue, to unplug..."
Wondering How Much Your Home Is Worth?
How has the price of your home changed in today's market? How much are other homes in your neighborhood selling for?
If you're wondering what's happening to prices in your area, or you're thinking about selling your house, I'll be able to help.
Just give my office a call for a no-fuss, professional evaluation.
I won't try to push you into listing with me or waste your time.
I'll just give you the honest facts about your home and its value.
And maybe I'll also give you the "inside scoop" on what's happening in the housing market near where you live!
Just give my office a call or reply to this email to arrange an appointment. Alternatively, stop by at the office.
Security Systems: Be Safe and Add Value to Your Home
Here's a home upgrade you may not have thought of: Home security. It's not as aesthetically pleasing as new hardwood flooring or as much fun as an in-ground pool, but it can increase the value of your home and make it more attractive to potential renters and prospective buyers.
Gains in technology have made home security slicker, more innovative, and easier to manage. How slim or robust a system you choose depends on the location of your home, its size, and your personal preference. These days it's easier than ever, as a fully automated system allows you to view your property via computer or smartphone, and even lock doors automatically.
A security system will give you greater peace of mind and put money back in your pocket, as most insurance providers offer a discount for homes with monitored alarm systems. If you're considering purchasing a system, speak with your insurance company first to learn about what is eligible for such a discount.
It may also be an attractive feature for prospective buyers. A modern system that has already been installed is a value-add, both for reasons of personal security and because of the insurance discount (if applicable).
As well, home security can give you a competitive edge when renting out a property in a crowded market. For renters in urban areas-especially tenants who will be living alone-an apartment with an alarm system can be a huge draw; many landlords who offer security systems will likely be able to charge premium rent.