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5 Helpful Websites To Aid You in House Hunting

5 Helpful Websites To Aid You in House Hunting

The value of real estate is constantly on the rise in many areas, and with it, rents are surging up too. These are some of the factors that make buying a home seem more attractive than ever. In addition to owning a home, there are some extra tax deductions, unlike renting, which are bonuses that wouldn’t hurt, since tax savings mitigate the cost of ownership.

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    However, buying or selling a home is a big commitment with a process that can be both complicated and a big headache. Although the market is on the rise, mortgage rates still keep fluctuating, making aspiring homeowners a little bit hesitant. Finding a new home can be a tough hurdle that requires a lot of know-how and experience, especially for first time buyers or sellers. This is why you need to do a lot of research and consultation before deciding what kind of home you need.

    I recently purchased a home, and it was quite an ordeal. Here are some of the websites my partner and I went through in researching and comparing for the ideal home that would best suit your lifestyle and budget. They were helpful, and I know they can also help you find the perfect home for you.

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    1. Realtor.com

    This list, (just like my home hunt) cannot begin without the mention of Realtor.com. This is one of the biggest real estate websites, with over 900 listing services updated every 15 minutes, with real estate information from all over the country. There are several great features to guide you in your buying and selling, like market summaries, which includes price check, neighborhood insights, and advice articles. Realtor.com is the official website of the National Association of Realtors, and it’s the first place we went when we started our hunt. You can be certain that this is a valuable and credible place to start (and maybe end) your home search.

    2. Savills

    This site breaks down its listings by unique category, from continent to country, to the type of building and the use of the building, which is quite helpful for home buyers who are not really sure of the specific type of listing they want to pursue. They also have guides and professionals that can give you information and walk you through the process of buying a home step-by-step. I really liked the prompt feedback, so it’s definitely a thumps up for this helpful site.

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    3. Kutsevich Realty

    I stumbled upon this site during my many queries on Google, and it was very helpful. A user-friendly site, it really narrowed down the specifics for me, providing an easy way to search for the basics, such as property type, city, county, etc. In fact, it made things very easy and helpful with capabilities for calculating mortgage rates, and viewing listings on the map. They also provided in-depth market reports of areas. I am sure you would find it helpful too.

    4. Sothebys Realty

    For the well-loaded aspiring homeowners, this is the marketplace for you. When I came across this site, I couldn’t help it – I had to have a look. This international real estate site lists some very beautiful and luxury destination homes from around the world. If you are looking to buy a luxury home or rent a home for vacation, I really think Sothesby would be the best place for your search. They have listings from all over the world: the Carribeans, Africa, Europe; it’s quite interesting. Most of the listings were above my price range, but they were amazing, and I loved browsing through them. I am sure you would find some amazing homes there if your budget is within their listed price ranges.

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    5. Christie’s Real Estate

    If you thought Sothesby was luxurious, then you need to check Christie’s. I did find Christie’s during my hunt, and even though I found nothing within my price range, I am sure celebrities and other wealthy people reading this would appreciate the heads up. The listings are breathtaking and outstanding. If you are are looking to buy an exclusive and luxury home, then you should head to Christie’s. On this website, you can even buy an island. Yes! – there are islands for sale on the listings. It’s just amazing. You can buy and sell your luxury homes, mansions, estates, and islands on this site.

    If you found this list, it means you are probably looking to buy or sell a home, and you need some information. You don’t have to panic, or be frustrated when buying or selling homes. Taking your budget, your lifestyle, and your needs into consideration, all you need is proper research, planning, and the help of a good real estate company or agent, and you can find your dream house. Good luck finding your perfect home!

    Featured photo credit: Elle Decor via elledecor.com

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    Kyra Taylor

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    Last Updated on October 16, 2018

    The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

    The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

    It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

    If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

    One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

    Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

    In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

    Why you can’t sleep through the night

    The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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    Stress

    If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

    Exposure to blue light before sleep time

    We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

    While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

    Eating close to bedtime

    Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

    Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

    Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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    Medical conditions

    In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

    The vicious sleep cycle

    The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

    Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

    You get a bad night’s sleep
    –> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
    –> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
    –> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

      You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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      How to sleep better (throughout the night)

      To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

      1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

      What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

      Here are a few suggestions:

      • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
      • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
      • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
      • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
      • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

      2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

      What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

      • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
      • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
      • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
      • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

      3. Adjust your sleep temperature

      Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

      Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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      Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

      Sleep better form now on

      Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

      I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

      As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

      Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

      Reference

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