Tips For Sellers To Make The Most Of Home Video Presentations

Buying or selling a house in this crazy world is a challenge. Many of the things we took for granted as part of the real estate transaction process have changed in one way or another. One of these is the way that prospective buyers view a house.

It used to be that a few pretty pictures online would be enough work to tempt a buyer into making an initial visit to check out your real estate. Even before Covid-19, however, this had changed to some degree, with buyers increasingly moving towards video footage of their prospective new home to show them if a visit was worth their time. The global pandemic only increased the importance of video, with buyers not wanting to spend time – and potentially risk their health – on properties that are shown in the listings by staged photos only.

As a seller, this can be used to your advantage. A good video presentation of your home will work wonders, with many buyers being wowed enough by that first video impression to have feelings for a home before even walking in the door. Doing the video right isn’t all that difficult, but here are a few tips to help you make the most of your real estate presentation video.

Don’t Be Tricky

No one wants to go to a property and see something that looks nothing like the video. This means that your video should be unedited if at all possible to give an actual and realistic view of the real estate they will be buying. Nothing will break trust between seller and buyer as quickly as a video that has jumped around to show a different layout or that has deliberately glossed over any problems with the property. Do not waste their time and yours by submitting an edited video that creates expectations for the house that cannot be met.

Prepare For Your Recording

While editing out the bad parts of your home to create a jump cut frenzy is a no-no, there is nothing wrong with making your home look its best for your video tour:  know when the sunlight hits your home to show it in its best light; make sure that the home is clutter free and that drapes/curtains/blinds are clean and in the optimal position to show off what your house looks like at its best; and make sure all the light bulbs are working and they give off great lighting in all areas. Spending a little time – and a little money – in getting the staging right for your home tour will get more people wanting to view your real estate in person and increase the chances of a quick sale at (or above) asking price.

Take Your Time

One of the biggest problems with video tours is that the people filming often rush them. A prospective buyer wants to be able to see the real estate in detail without having to slow the frame rate or be constantly pausing the video because the tour is happening too fast. A steady pace is the best bet – one that allows you to control the camera without bouncing and jerking it around (we don’t want to make the buyer sea sick) – being sure to keep equal focus on the things you do and do not like about the home. Nothing is more suspicious than a tour done at the correct pace suddenly speeding up to cover a problem area of the home. Think about what you would like to see – and the speed that you would like to see it at – and use that as a rule of thumb.

Happy house hunting!

 

Article By Vital Guidance

Help Pets Prepare For Another New Normal Before You Return To Work

The vital relationship nurtured between you and your pet during the COVID-19 crisis is likely one that neither of you ever expected to happen. With the number of people working from home, or suddenly not working at all, there has been so much more time than ever before for an owner and a pet to form a bond of reliance. This is just natural and is something that should have been pursued, especially if you were in any state of serious lockdown.

As more businesses are starting to reopen, and as more employees are finding their way back to work, a change will soon be occurring in your life and daily routine. Lockdown was hard. Staying home was difficult and you had to completely change your mind set in order to make the most out of a tough situation. While things aren’t going to be normal any time soon, the return to work and to aspects of a normal life will also require an adjustment, both for you and for the pet that has come to rely on your company for the last two months.

Separation anxiety is a problem for both humans and pets. If what was there for more 60 days in some cases suddenly goes away five days a week, then your pet is going to be sad, bored, and lonely. This is obviously not a good situation, and it’s vital to start putting in some time to get your pet’s expectations in the right place for when this happens.

Allow Kim Steffes, owner of a dog training center in Indianapolis to explain:

“Just before school starts, parents start a couple weeks beforehand, putting the kids to bed a little bit earlier. They kind of get back into that routine, so it’s not a shock when school actually starts and they have to get up early and go to bed early; That’s what people should be doing for their dogs,” Steffes explains.

Dr. Roger Mugford , a well-respected animal psychologist who has been used by the British royal family to work with the corgis of Queen Elizabeth II, agrees with this statement. “With such an overload of quality time with their families, dogs are building up a huge reservoir of over-dependency which could see them suffer when moms and dads suddenly return to work and the children go back to school,” he says.

He further adds that “When left alone, dogs can chew the house, annoy the neighbors by constantly barking, urinate and defecate inside, and sometimes even self-harm. Put a webcam on your dog and you’ll see howling and pacing and other distress signs.”

This is obviously a nightmare scenario for any dog lover to think about. Just the concept that it has been possible to love your dog too much during quarantine that it would then affect the dog’s state of wellbeing over the next few months is something that is difficult to wrap your head around, and painful to think about. Adequately preparing for this moment is vital to make any pain be minimal.

Preparation could include something as simple as crating your dog for a few hours each day while you are home working to get your pet used to the routine. It could mean taking your dog for walks only at times when you would usually be home to do so. Doing this now and stretching it out over a period of a couple of weeks, will help avoid the cold-turkey affect and maintain that vital relationship that you have forged during the crisis.

 

Article by Vital Guidance

 

Spring Is A Time To Be Ready For Real Estate Options

Real estate buying and selling options were way down in March 2020 as a direct result of the Coronavirus outbreak. As potential buyers and sellers watched the economy fall apart across the country, real estate suffered as people who may have been in the market to buy or sell a newly built or existing home, decided to shelter in place versus splashing out their money on a mortgage.

There is no doubt it was the right thing to do at the time. Research on Zillow shows that signed contracts on houses are about one-third lower right now than they were at this time last year with people protecting their cash and other investments. There is – though – a glimmer of hope.

Spring always feels like the perfect time to explore your real estate buying and selling options as the weather gets warmer. This year the threat of Corona is still real, but there is an added feeling of hope that comes with spring.  Retail sales for housing picked up as we moved through April.  This may be a sign the worst part of the crisis – at least from the perspective of the housing market – could be over.

Web traffic – another great indicator of housing interest – also picked up during the last two weeks of April, though the numbers are still lower than average in major metros like New York City and Boston where the virus is a bigger problem. How much of this is people being bored sitting at home versus people actually looking to buy a house is up for debate, but on the back end of this it’s entirely possible that people who were happy with their living condition pre-Corona will be looking for something a little different – a move to space in the suburbs perhaps – that they wouldn’t have considered before.

The whole real estate market has turned virtual in the last month and this is important to consider if you are looking to buy or sell. Housing values have remained steady – impressive given some of our economic markets have gone into free fall.  So if you are someone considering your real estate buying and selling options you should be using this time to get your house prepared and learning about the new methods to be on top of the situation when you decide to make the move.

Article by Vital Guidance

Quarantine Life Allows Parent To Teach Life Lessons

With more and more school districts closing in America by the day a parents role as a vital mentor in the life of their kids has changed. We talked earlier this month about ways to create fun activities for your kids during their extended summer break, but there is more you can do during this time of uncertainty to embrace that leadership role.

You have likely not had one-on-one access like this with your child in years. This is true no matter the age of your children as the combination of working from home and no school means that you are interacting all day long with each other. As a result, it may be the perfect time to impart some life lessons on your child that they may not otherwise have learned and picked up on until far later in life.

During this outbreak, have fun but also spend time wisely with family to help set your kids on the right path whenever we return to some semblance of normalcy.  Here are a few life lessons that you can show by being the best version of yourself in front of your children during what is a trying time for us all:

Staying Safe Online

Being inside as much as will be required over the next few months is going to see children spending even more time than normal online. This will come both in terms of their education – with schools using online teaching techniques and tools – and their free time. This is the ideal time to talk with your kids about online safety, being careful about who they talk to and how they act, and being sure to give a positive message about the online space if it is used correctly.

Self-sufficiency

The hope is that nothing like this will ever happen again and, that when it has blown over, the world will get back to how it was to some degree. The truth is though, that this has shaken the fabric of society around the world and as a result shops are lower on food than normal and household budgets have shrunk. This is an excellent time to teach the kids how to react in unusual situations. Teach them how to cook with limited ingredients and how to budget out a set amount of food for groceries when some of the obvious options are not available. Get creative in your vital role as a parent and show them how to be self-sufficient in a crisis.

Positivity

It’s hard to be positive in crisis situations, but as a leader of your family you need to be positive both for yourself and for your children. This is a lesson that you can teach and show your children right now, and this guidance will help them understand that being positive in the face of a crisis – be it personal or on a global scale – is vitally important in moving forward and making the most of life.  Controlling you level of kindness, your attitude, and remaining positive in the face of what seems like overwhelming negativity around us is going to have a profound impact on the growth of your child.

Article by Vital Guidance

Vitamins help prepare for the unknown affects of viruses

One of the biggest hurdles that we will all struggle with at one time or another in the face of the COVID-19 situation is the unknown. The truth is that no one – scientists, government officials, the neighbor with the cat that knows everything (nothing) really has no idea about the scope of this worldwide virus. That is why what we need to do is focus on the things we do know and the things that we can do something about.

Eating healthy won’t keep the Coronavirus at bay.  What it will do, however, is have your immune system as ready and healthy as possible to fight off the invasive threat.  This is a story as old as time itself and it is a well-known way to stay healthy through troubling times.  Here are a few nutrients to focus on in the weeks ahead:

Vitamin D
Sun exposure is important as there are immune cells that use vitamin D to destroy viral pathogens that cause infections.  Getting just a few minutes outdoors will help with this sun retention – though more is obviously better as it will also help your mental health to get out and relax.   Also, a number of food brands can be found with added vitamin D to help with this vital nutrient.

Vitamin C/E
These vitamins protect your cells from oxidative stress as they shore up your structures and reduce possible inflammations. Vitamin C is especially important as it will help the body get back to normal more quickly by reacting and causing an immune response that will clean up any junk in the system as quickly as possible. Citrus fruits are the go-to options here.

Vitamin A
Another structure vitamin, Vitamin A forms a barrier in the respiratory tract and gut as your initial line of defense against a virus. This vitamin is also important for making the antibodies that will fight the virus and it can be found in oily fish, cheese, and egg yolks.

B vitamins
All useful, but B6, B9, and B12 are the best of the bunch. They attack a pathogen by causing infected cells to implode and stop their spread around the body. Cereals and leafy greens are good sources of B vitamins, with B12 being found in eggs, meat, and dairy products.

Getting as much healthy food into the system – with vitamins and minerals in the right doses – will give your body a greater chance of fighting off not only COVID-19, but also the seasonal flu and other viral infections. This will put you in the best position to make it through any outbreak on the mild end of the scale.  Stay safe.

Article by Vital Guidance

Gateway Drugs Lead To More Dangerous Opioid Abuse

Gateway drugs come in all shapes, sizes and names. They are hard to combat because the drugs most commonly used as a gateway to addiction change with availability and trends in culture. One of the most popular – and therefore most dangerous – gateway drugs in our current world is the opioid Codeine.

Codeine is a mild opioid that is used to treat mild to moderately severe pain. While it is used for mild pain in its original form, this is a drug that has been seen to be easy to become addicted to and that is a drug that leads to abusing other – more dangerous – opiates.

Codeine comes in tablet form, but the most common gateway use of the drug is via prescription grade cough syrup and cough suppressants. It works as a gateway drug because people see Codeine as less dangerous than something like morphine because how dangerous can cough syrup really be? The answer is very dangerous.  Large doses of Codeine has the same effect on the body as low doses of morphine in the system. This is typical gateway drug patterning.

Problems develop because Codeine tolerance is fast in its development. This means that users quickly need more of the drug – or a different drug of a higher strength – to get their fix. This is true both of abusers who use the drug recreationally, and for those who are using Codeine in a legitimate way to treat their pain, be that pain occasional, chronic, or emotional.

While people think of Codeine as a mild drug compared to scary names like heroin and Oxy, high enough doses of Codeine can lead to a coma and death. This is especially true when Codeine is taken recreationally on the street as it is often mixed with other drugs to create an artificially high.

Codeine is a dangerous drug. Users will eventually not get their high from Codeine and move on to other opiates. You may also see users mixing Codeine abuse with alcohol abuse to get the fix that they need before moving on to yet more dangerous substances. If you have a friend or family member who you are worried is developing a Codeine addiction then know you need to act and help them before that addiction transitions from Codeine down a path that is even more difficult to recover from.

Article by Vital Guidance

Ways To Know When Your Friend Is Addicted To Opiates

If you are going to help a friend with an addiction, it’s vital you’re aware of what’s going on around you. Opiate addiction is a growing problem worldwide, especially here in the United States, and it’s not always easy to spot.

People become addicted to opiates for various reasons.  They are used to treat pain and sometimes give people a feeling that the pain isn’t there, and their life is in a good place.  Hydrocodone is a drug often used recreationally, while drugs such as codeine and morphine have been problematic for authorities and healthcare professionals for years because of their ease of acquisition and their addictive nature.

The most obvious sign of an opiate addiction is a sudden change in behavior.  You know how your friend generally acts, so if suddenly something changes without an obvious outside stressor then you should be on alert.  It’s expected that a change in behavior could occur after a death, but extreme alterations in mood are a sure sign of an opiate addiction, especially when combined with other signs such as frequent bouts of anger and hostility.

Another big – and related sign – is that the person with an opiate addiction will start isolating themselves from family and friends. Social engagements will be skipped and your friend will either fall into a loner status or start hanging out with a new crowd of people. Also look for a dramatic dip in performance in school, work, or sporting achievements as an opiate user will care nothing about things that used to matter in order to work on getting their fix.

Signs related to this also include a sudden neglecting of personal hygiene and clothing. Maybe the person you are worried about used to be in fashion and now wears the same clothes for days. This is a sign of addiction. They may also suddenly have a habit of zoning out or completely falling asleep in inappropriate situations because they no longer have full control over their sleep/wake cycle.

Hopefully, your relationship allows you to read these signs and help your friend seek treatment. If the addiction is caught early then the odds are much better that it can be treated and that your friend can return to a normal and drug free-life.

Article by Vital Guidance

Opioid Abuse Leads To Harmful Consequences

Taking prescription opioids to manage pain is part of everyday life for millions of people.  As a mentor presenting vital guidance to your friends and loved ones it is important that you know how to spot problems and behaviors that are associated with opioid abuse, opioid dependency, and an opioid overdose.

The first sign of dependency is a fairly obvious one. Prescription medication comes with detailed information on when and how much medication should be taken. If you notice someone taking their meds more than instructed – or at a higher dose than instructed – then there is already a problem. This is because they need to increase their exposure to the drug in order to find relief that was manageable before, but might be quickly spinning out of control.

Other signs of dependency are what you would expect from a category of drugs – including the lines of morphine, oxycodone, and fentanyl – that have the ability to take over a person’s life. Increased tolerance begets persistent use of the drug despite obviously harmful consequences. A person will lose interest in their normal activities, obligations, and routines as they fall victim to the drug, becoming ever more dependent and moving one step closer to a life threatening – and often life taking – overdose.

The signs of an overdose are terrifying, but if you know anyone who is on opioids – be it for a legitimate reason or not – then it is important to recognize them instantly. The difference between an overdose and a very strong high are not always that obvious, making it even harder to tell if a person is in serious danger.

Overdose symptoms include:

  • Labored, slow, or even zero breathing
  • Limp body
  • Pin-point pupils
  • Pale, cold or blue skin
  • Choking and/or gurgling sounds
  • Unresponsive to anything you do

Overdoses are killers, and you must react in a rapid and calm way to find help quickly. As dependency often falls along multiple lines, be aware the chances of overdose has vastly increased when opioids are mixed with sedatives and/or alcohol.

Prevention is always going to be the first choice when dealing with opioid abuse, doing whatever it takes to help someone get away from the drugs that are hurting them. Sometimes – even with the best will in the world – this isn’t possible and in those situations knowing if it is an opioid overdose or a strong high can be the difference between life and death.

“It is important that we change the viewpoint that our nation and the medical community currently has about opioid addiction,” says Dr. Andre Waisman, founder of The ANR Clinic which educates and treats opioid addictions around the world.  “Rather than treating it as a chronic relapsing illness, doctors should approach it from the angle of a disease for treatment of the root cause rather than only it’s symptoms. By doing so we can move forward towards an age where treatment is no longer the same unsuccessful methods from 30 years ago but rather a more beneficial and humane treatment for patients of opioid addiction.”

For more information or for treatment of opioid addictions, call The ANR Clinic in Tampa, FL at (813) 750-7470.

Article by Vital Guidance

NFL Brandon Copeland Investing For A Better Future

We hear stories all the time about pro athletes finding a way to lose tens of millions, and even hundreds of millions, of dollars that they have made during their career. Therefore, it’s always interesting to hear about an athlete that understands how to manage his finances.

New York Jets linebacker Brandon Copeland is one such player and it is his knowledge of the real estate market that has helped set him up for life after football. Copeland was not a player who entered the NFL with high expectations or one of the huge contracts that comes with being a high round draft pick. While the 6-foot-3, 263 pounder certainly has the size to play as an outside linebacker/defensive end hybrid in the league, the perceived lack of competition that he faced while playing at Penn saw Copeland go undrafted in the 2013 NFL Draft.

After initially spending time on the practice squad of the Baltimore Ravens, Copeland landed a job with the Detroit Lions in 2015, before moving on to the Jets for the 2018 season. All that bouncing around is part of what made real estate investing so appealing to the Ivy Leaguer.

Copeland’s collegiate experience was one that seems to have set him up well to avoid the money pitfalls of most athletes. The Wharton School graduate spent a pair of summers while in school interning at an investment bank. He also spent his 2017 off-season working on Wall Street. All of those moves were made so that Copeland could get vital guidance about investing, more about real estate, and more about how to use money to make money.

It is real estate which is one of Copeland’s key focus areas when it comes to saving and investing. He opened a company in the real estate sector with his wife in 2018, a decision they came to together after spending time and energy flipping houses for profit. By expanding that hobby into a company, Copeland is able to take care of all aspects of house buying, selling, renovating, and flipping.

Despite his money smarts, it is actually some of Copeland’s relative failures that have pushed him to where he is today. A number of money mistakes in his early 20s, mistakes he share with a teammate with the same issues, have seen the linebacker go back to the classroom to teach a class called Life 101 to students. His class details how he lives on 10 to 15 percent of his NFL salary with the rest of his money dropping into long term investments like real estate.

While we may not all have the disposable capital of an NFL player, we can all learn something from Copeland and his journey. Invest smartly now, using long term strategies, to live better in the future.