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In this day and age, children are more likely to stay indoors and get less exercise because of technology. Between television, video games, and portable electronic devices, there are few reasons that kids can see to go outside and play. Do you have a big backyard that your kids just seem to ignore? If so, here are seven great ideas that can un-glue your children’s eyes from computer screens and get them playing in the backyard.
1. Swing-set: It is a staple at local parks, and even adults like to swing on them every once in awhile. It is great exercise for the legs, and it is nice on a hot day because of the breeze swinging creates.
2. Slide: A twisting spiral type of slide is the most fun, but a tall, straight slide can also create a momentary thrill. With the options in Swing Set Accessories, it’s easy to find something your kids will love!
3. Seesaw: This is of course best if you have at least two children who are rather close in age and size. It is much easier to play and balance that way.
4. Sandbox: These can get messy, but they can provide hours of fun. Add buckets, shovels, water, toy dump trucks, and sandcastle molds for the ultimate time-consuming outdoor activity. Just make sure they wash-up well when they come inside.
5. Trampoline: Jumping on a bed is fun, too, but a trampoline is much better. Your kids can go as high as they want without hitting the ceiling, breaking the bed frame, or getting into trouble. This is perfect for kids with a lot of energy.
6. Kiddy Pool: This is a seasonal item, but it can still be a worthy investment. It is a great way to cool off in the summer, and water toys make it fun.
7. Sports Equipment: A basketball hoop, volleyball net, and other sports equipment like balls, bats, and rackets can inspire your kids to develop their athletic skills.
Even if you just add one or two of these things to your back yard, it can almost certainly get your kids outside, for at least a little while. Having a visual reminder, like a swing-set or a trampoline, can keep the idea in that back of their minds: Yes, there are ways to have fun outside that don’t involve electronics.
Give your kids a reason to put down those video games!
Posted February 29th, 2012. 2 comments
Finding an apartment can be a time-consuming and confusing task. Unfortunately, whether single, part of a couple, or head of a family, women are often left with the lion’s share of the work when it comes to finding a home. It is because women see a potential residence as a home and not just a place to sleep that makes the process even more difficult.
Over the last decade the internet has dramatically changed the way that people search for and choose a place to live. Daniel Drimmer has been a ground-breaking part of the evolution of residential real estate in Canada. Beginning with his founding of Transglobe Property in 1994 through his formation of the new Starlight Apartments in 2011, Drimmer has been at the forefront of integrating new technologies to get the best information to anyone hunting for an apartment in the major cities of Canada.
Drimmer was one of the first to employ internet tools like virtual tours and interactive maps that are now staples of any rental real estate website. These tools are especially helpful for women who are searching for a new home. Maps provide a context for the potential apartment or condo, letting women see in an instant the neighborhood and community features of an area. Knowing where schools, community services, transportation, and shopping are in relationship to a potential apartment can help women quickly locate the best prospects for themselves and their families.
Video tours may seem cliche today, but when Drimmer and other digital pioneers first started using them, the internet was still in its infancy. Most tech-savy apartment hunters wouldn’t dream of setting an appointment to view a unit that they hadn’t already vetted through a virtual tour of both the specific unit and the property on which it sits. Originally these tours were simple floorplans intercut with still shots. Today, the best tours are professionally produced streaming video clips available for viewing on both computers and smart phones.
Another innovation of the internet is perfect for the busy 21st century women: online lease applications. It makes sense that after spending time doing research into neighborhoods, specific properties and viewing virtual tours of a place, that potential tenants should be able to submit their application online. Carving out time to visit a property in person is difficult enough. Having to make repeated trips to fill out applications, return forms, etc., is much more work than most women have time for. The ability to quickly fill out and submit the form online, as well as viewing digital copies of the lease agreement and other documentation, is a valuable time saver.
Real estate visionaries like Daniel Drimmer have made apartment hunting much more efficient and accessible. And that makes it so much easier for women to find, apply for, and acquire the perfect rental home.
Drimmer is also instrumental in the formation of Starlight Investments Ltd.
Posted December 16th, 2011. 2 comments
In decades past it was quite the norm for young women to live at home until they got married. At which point they would move in with their husband. Society has changed a lot over the years and it is now very common for girls to move out shortly after high school either to go to college or experience some independence before they settle down. Whatever the reason for moving out , whether on your own or with friends, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Location is key in real estate. Think about the places you spend most of your time, where you work, and where you like to hang out. Chances are you will want to live nearby. If don’t have a car it’s also important to take public transportation routes into consideration. A lot of young people when they first move out want to live in the heart of the city, in the center of the action, and that might be great for a while but also think about the noise and traffic levels you may be dealing with. Also make sure that it is an area where you feel safe; especially for the girls that will be living alone. If you don’t feel safe during the day, that’s not going to get better at night when you are there alone.
Only look at places within your budget. Looking at the brand new apartments that have a nail and tanning salon, Olympic size pools, and state of the art fitness center but is thousands of dollars out of your price range is only going to lead to heartbreak. There are a lot of great places out there but if you set your expectations too high you will never be able to see the perfect place when your looking right at it. You can really narrow down your choices if you do some initial searching online. You can click here for some options that will help make your search a little easier.
Try not to get too emotionally attached to the different apartment complexes that you look at. Being the more emotional sex, this can be hard for us ladies to do. All we have to do is walk into the place and we can envision how to arrange the furniture and the great get-togethers we would have. As hard as it is staying objective can help you find just the right place at a great price, instead of jumping on the first place that you visit.
It can be hard to remember all the different places that you look at, especially if you looked at a lot. Most places will offer an apartment map so you can refresh your memory and get a better idea of the layout and parking situation.
There is a lot of excitement when it comes to looking for a new apartment. Just remember to take your time, don’t settle, and before you know it you’ll the apartment of your dreams.
Posted November 25th, 2011. Add a comment
It’s been a tough few years in the Real Estate business. Home prices continue to lag behind their previously high values. Many prospective home buyers have been reluctant to start the buying process because they’re not sure if the market has hit the bottom yet. They continue to take a wait and see attitude.
But now really is a good time to buy. Home prices in many areas have started to rise. The number of foreclosures in many cities has started to fall as well. Market by market, buyers have started to notice pockets or neighborhoods that have started to come back with immediate offers on home that are coming on the market. If you continue to wait, you may miss out on the most lucrative time ever to buy a new home.
Many states are requiring continuing education for mortgage brokers to ensure these Real Estate professionals are up on the latest laws and any changes that will affect prospective buyers.
Other factors affecting the home buying process are record low interest rates and lots of inventory. This is truly a buyer’s market. In fact the Federal Reserve Board has continues to keep the interest rates at record low levels.
Act now as the interest rates have started to inch back up. The rates continue to bounce around but there are some trends that show increased rates. The inventory of both new and pre-owned homes has never been better.
All in all, buying now could save you a huge amount of money in the long term. Reduced interest rates and reduced home prices are a good formula for long term savings. In fact, you can buy more home for the money.
Posted October 31st, 2011. Add a comment
Many of my friends have a good handle on the costs of running a household. Food, meals, gas, are all costs we encounter on a weekly basis and items that we look towards when cutting back on our spending. However these is one major expense that we give little thought towards. And one that can potentially save as a lot of money. That is the costs associated with a mortgage loan. And there are many factors that make up the cost of a mortgage loan. These include the cost of the property, the down payment, the closing costs, the total loan amount, the interest rate, the loan period etc.
The mortgage loan amount is the money supplied to the lender by the lending institution. The interest rate is the percentage amount they make for supplying the loan. Now the interest rate can be influenced by many things including the home buyer’s credit rate, the length of the loan etc. This all affects the monthly payment that will eventually pay back the loan.
The closing costs of the property purchase are usually in the realm of five percent of the mortgage loan amount. This is an important consideration when calculating how much of a home you can afford. Closing costs include many things associated with the purchase of your home – appraisal fees, escrow fees, various property taxes, title insurance and originating fees are all included in the closing cost figure.
Closing costs are unavoidable when purchasing a property. As well as the lender there are multiple parties involved in the closing process and they all charge a fee for their services. Therefore expect to pay the closing costs when you pay the down deposit on your home. After that you will be left with your monthly mortgage payments which are made over the period of the loan.
To help you assess the costs associated with the purchases of a property consult a mortgage payment calculator which will help you evaluate your different options and payment amounts.
Posted September 28th, 2011. Add a comment
In the winter months especially, I like to find a coffee house that has one of those outdoor patio fireplaces, order up a chai latte, and bury myself with a good book. I’m a little different from other folks, so right now I’m taking a look at a non-fiction book on the figures of speech, which describes over sixty ways in which to “turn a phrase,” written by a Professor from UC Berkely. You’d be shocked at the number of names linguists have for speech you never knew existed, like enallage, a word that describes a phrase for an effective grammatical mistake, such as the phrase, “We was robbed,” as opposed to the more grammatical, less memorable phrase, “We were robbed.” The first phrase has been remembered since a prize fight manager complained about his fighter losing the boxing match in 1932; the second phrase is simply commonplace, said by any number of folks without being remembered at all. There’s all sorts of stuff in here like that: The word asyndeton means leaving out a conjunction (an and, or an or, or a but, for instance) that you would otherwise expect to be there, like the phrase, “I came, I saw, I conquered,” instead of “I came, I saw, and I conquered.” Most people don’t care about this sort of thing one bit, but I find it pretty fascinating.
Other patrons of the coffee house are also gathered around the fireplace, flames flickering over their faces and laptops, as they write the next, best email; the next, best screenplay; or the next, best American novel [By the way, the previous sentence's repetition is an example of anaphora.] I wonder if it’s something primal in us that draws us to fireplaces, that makes it worth while for coffee shops and restaurants to install them, not just for warmth, but for social contact. Even when we don’t know each other, there’s some kind of comfort that we draw on when we go out and gather together around a fire. We’re clearly all in our own world here, no one’s even talking to each other, but we’re better for being here, gathered around our fire and our words, than we are at home alone.
Posted December 8th, 2009. Add a comment