Could using plastics in the microwave be dangerous to your health? The answer is “yes,” according to important news from John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
There have been many stories circulating about the safety of microwaves, heating, plastics and food. Some have focused on dioxin, a known carcinogen. Dioxin occurs in our environment, primarily from the incineration of waste materials, according to Dr. Rolf Halden, at John Hopkins Bloomberg School. People are exposed to dioxin mostly from eating meat and fish rich in fat. But it may not be the sole offender.
There are other concerns we should consider, according to Halden. There’s a group of chemicals called “phthalates” that have been added to some plastics to make them flexible and less brittle. If you heat these plastics, it can increase the leaching of phthalates from the containers into your food.
Many scientific studies have shown that when you heat up an object, the chemicals are more likely to release into the environment. This is the same with plastics...and possibly the plastic packaging in some microwave meals.
Another chemical, diethylhexyl adipate (DEHA), is also used to make plastics more flexible. DEHA exposure can occur when eating certain foods wrapped in plastics. “It’s true that substances used to make plastics can leach into food,” says Edward Machuga, Ph.D., a consumer safety officer in the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. “But the levels are low.”
What should you do? People should use heat resistant glass, Corning Ware or ceramic containers for heating food in the microwave. Don’t use foam or plastic carryout containers from restaurants or margarine tubs in the microwave, according to the FDA. And never use plastic storage bags, grocery bags, newspapers or aluminum foil in the microwave.
Investors Team Realty 909 518 8317 Arun Tolia
Did you know that you can determine your happiness and success just by the way you think? Scientists and athletes have proved that you can control your thinking (and optimism) by using techniques like neurolinguistic programming (NLP), cognitive awareness, and even hypnosis.
Let’s face it: you can’t always change events in your life…but you can change the way you perceive them. Here are 9 strategies you can use to get the power of positive thinking working for you:
1. Choose To Be Positive. Yes, optimism is a choice. Make a commitment each morning to be positive…to choose the uplifting side of life.
2. Use Empowering Self-Talk. Use words like, “How can I,” “It’s possible.” “It can be done!” rather than “why me”, “not again”, etc.
3. Exercise daily. Commit to getting some kind physical exercise everyday! Whether it’s walking, swimming, dancing, riding a bike, playing tennis or golf, choose something that you enjoy and make the commitment to yourself.
4. Surround Yourself With Positive People. Choose to surround yourself with positive role models, whether they’re friends, colleagues, or business associates. Negative people can drag you down.
5. Find Balance In Your Life. Limit your news intake each day. Stay informed, but focus on positive news. Make it a practice to read at least one daily inspirational story, quote, or book every day.
6. Focus On Your Posture. When you stand, walk, or sit with good posture, you’ll not only feel and look better you’ll radiate self confidence!
7. Set-backs Are Not Forever. When faced with a setback, remember that it’s not forever – things will get better. Keep a broad perspective: situations change constantly, and there’s more in life than the specific problem you’re facing.
8. Don’t Personalize Problems. Events can happen that are outside of your control – try not to internalize them.
9. Think Positively and Expect Positive Outcomes. Your ultimate success and happiness in life will not be determined by the setbacks you encounter, but by the setbacks you overcome, learn from, and continue onward.
Investors Team Realty 909 518 8317 Arun Tolia
Do you travel abroad? At some point in life, nearly everyone will travel to a foreign country. Maybe you long for adventure, travel for business, or want to discover unique cultures. Before you go, here are six helpful tips to make your trip easier, safer and lots more enjoyable:
1. Pack With Care. Don’t pack anything that would upset you if it were lost. Luggage gets lost; things get broken. Check to see what is appropriate to wear in the place(s) you’ll be staying. But don’t over pack. Keep gifts unwrapped; security may have to unwrap them to see the contents.
2. Make Two Travel Packets. One is for you; the other give to a trusted family member or friend. Copy your passport (all pages), and your passport photo. Include medical information, insurance numbers, medication and vision prescriptions (should you lose your glasses), your itinerary, and important telephone numbers. Check your health insurance medical coverage while you’re in foreign countries.
3. Know Your Itinerary. Know where you’re going, and let people know when you are expected to return. Be aware of your surroundings and be street smart. Stay in safe areas, that are well-lit at night.
4. Watch What You Eat. Eat foods that are well-cooked; avoid raw or uncooked seafood. Drink bottled water (sealed and commercially produced), and/or carbonated drinks. Forego the ice, and use bottled water when brushing your teeth.
5. Protect Your Film. If you use a film camera, carry your film with you. The new x-ray machines can fog your film, ruining your photos. If you’re concerned, ask security to hand-check your film.
6. Stay Alert. You’re at most risk to crime while en-route to your destination particularly at airports. Don’t leave your bags unattended, and keep them in front of you. Always, heed U.S. State Department warnings; they are there to protect you. Lastly, have a great trip!
Investors Team Realty 909 518 8317 Arun Tolia
You can read plenty of articles on the internet about how to save money on groceries, but do you really have a grocery shopping strategy? Here are some supermarket tips and secrets that will make you a savvy shopper.
Many people want to invest in real estate because they think it’s an easy way to make money. That isn’t necessarily the case. Here’s a list of common mistakes even smart investors make:
Mistake #1: Not Doing Your Homework
Mistake #2: Not Finding The Right Property
Mistake #3 Failing To Get An Inspection
Mistake #4: Being An Absentee Owner
Mistake #5: Having Inadequate Insurance
Mistake #6: Not Charging Fair Rent
Mistake #7: Selecting Unreliable Tenants
Mistake #8: Not Getting The Right Help
You can avoid these mistakes and be a savvy investor by following these tips to get the positive cash flow and tax benefits you want from your real estate investment.
Before you make an investment, evaluate your financial situation.
Ask yourself if the timing is right. Don’t just go with your gut. Learn the basics about cash flow, appreciation, and loan amortization. Work with a knowledgeable REALTOR® who is familiar with the market and can help you make sure you’ve got all your bases covered.
Do a thorough search, including “off MLS” deals and best buys, to find the right investment property for you.
An experienced REALTOR® will help you find and buy the property you want, and work with you on all documentation, including rental and lease applications, title policies, purchase contracts etc.
Have a professional inspection before you buy.
Make sure there aren’t any major problems – such as pests, leaky pipes, and mold. If there have been problems, make sure they’ve been properly addressed. You’re investing your hard-earned money, so use sound business judgment.
Be a hands-on owner.
Visit the property often to ensure everything is going as expected. Talk to your tenants to get feedback on things that need repairs etc. It’s less costly to take care of little problems before they become big problems. If you bought the house as a “passive” investment,hire a property management company. A little up-front setup with tenants and possibly a property management company will go a long way, and it really doesn’t eat into your cash flow that much.
Have adequate insurance.
When you own property, you have potential for liability. Work with an insurance professional who will see that you are well covered.
Charge fair rent.
A skilled REALTOR® can help you determine the amount of rent that is reasonable for the condition of the house, its amenities and location. What you DON’T want to see is a vacant property.
Be selective about your tenants from the start.
Check all references, including previous landlords, payment history, employers, and credit history. Good renters will help you generate positive cash flow that you can use to reinvest back in the property payment and speed up the amortization schedule. This decreases your debt load and increases your equity.
Not having the right person help you.
You need more than just the typical real estate agent to find and close on the best properties. You need an “Investor Specialist”…
How To Find The Perfect Investment and Save Thousands When Buying…
I offer a Preferred Investor Program for those considering investing in the next 6 months. My program includes a Bargain Property-Locator Service™ where my software will sift through the market each night to find hidden deals and new listings before anyone else – and send you daily email notifications at no charge. To enroll in my no obligation program or if you have questions call me using this number: 909-518-8317
If you're in the market for a new home, it's important to know your credit score. A good credit score can lead to a better interest rate on your mortgage, while a lower one might present extra challenges. Need to improve your score? Here are a few things you can do.
Check your credit. Start by requesting your credit reports from the three credit reporting agencies; you're allowed one free copy every year. Requesting one report from each agency every four months can show you how your credit changes over the year. If you're short on time, request all three at once.
Dispute any errors. Next, look for errors, signs of fraud or outdated information. Are the accounts familiar? Are all balances accurate? Is a closed account listed as open? If you spot an error, you'll need to submit your dispute in writing to both the reporting agency and the company that provided the information.
Stop credit activity. Until you apply for a mortgage, it may be a good idea to cease most credit-related activity. That means you'll want to skip any large purchases, avoid applying for any new accounts and try not to switch jobs or make any other major life changes.
Pay down balances. One of the most important factors in determining your credit score is the amount you owe compared to the amount of credit you have. Ideally, you don't want to use more than 30 percent of your available credit. If you can, work to pay down balances if you're using more than this.
Good credit can take time to build, but regularly reviewing your information and working to rectify past errors will put you in the best possible position when it comes to getting an optimal rate on your mortgage.
Real estate is a prolific profession. Everyone either knows a real estate agent, or is connected to one through six (probably less) degrees of separation. Between friends and relatives, and the stereotypical representation of real estate agents on television and in pop culture, the general public has a adopted some assumptions about agents that are very far from the truth.
Here are ten things that people assume about real estate agents that just aren’t true:
1. They make “easy money”
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH. The only people who could ever possibly make the case that being an agent is an easy way to make money are those who have never done it. It’s hard, uncertain work, with many instances of months wasted on a deal that doesn’t ever close. The only thing easy about it is reading the Lighter Side of Real Estate.
2. They are required to show you houses even if you’re not pre-approved
There are definitely agents who will show you houses without a pre-approval (or at minimum a pre-qualification), but an agent is not required to, and most experienced agents probably won’t. The ability to qualify for financing dictates whether or not a deal is even possible, so an agent is simply saving you from disappointment (or worse) by asking you to get pre-approved.
3. Zillow is more accurate than they are
It would be wonderful if Zillow (and similar websites) were accurate in their home valuations, but if you compared their results to actual appraised values, in most cases you’d burst out laughing. Real estate agents want you to get as much money as possible for your house, but oftentimes reality gets in the way. Trust your realtor to give you a fair market assessment for your house…at least more than you trust Zillow.
4. They make huge commissions
The popular real estate flipping shows on cable t.v., and Million Dollar Listing have given everyone the impression that real estate agents are rolling in the dough. Most real estate agents wish that this was true, but reality is much different. The median US existing home sale price in December 2016 was $234,900, which means after splitting the commission and paying their broker, an agent took home about $3500 on the transaction, not including all marketing and related expenses. As a monthly income, this adds up to about $40,000 per year. Not exactly huge.
5. They’re an unnecessary evil
Many people have made the argument that real estate agents are unnecessary and are merely an impediment to a more efficient “For sale by owner” model of real estate. The best way to eliminate this misconception is to try selling your house yourself. There is nothing more sobering than desperately Googling state and federal real estate laws as some unkempt stranger is knocking on your door asking you questions about your FSBO house.
6. They’re sleazy
Unfortunately, real estate agents have joined the ranks of lawyers, politicians, and salespeople in some of the public’s assumptions about their trustworthiness. The financial collapse of 2008 exacerbated this perception. Thankfully, the market correction also weeded out most of the unsavory elements in the business. The truth is, real estate agents are honest, hardworking people, making a living like any other profession. And just like any other profession, there are a few bad apples that unfairly give the others a bad name.
7. They’re uneducated
This misconception really gets under most agents’ skin, because not only do many agents have degrees (and advanced degrees in quite a few cases), but the knowledge required to pass a real estate exam is substantial. There are many people who are unable to get their licensing because of an inability to pass the licensing tests, which makes the concept of an “uneducated” agent laughable.
8. They want you to pay more for a house so they can make more money
If you truly looked at the math involved in calculating real estate commissions, you’d never utter this falsehood again. An agent getting you to pay $10,000 more for a property will net that agent approximately $150, which barely covers the cost of gas required to drive to and from your appointments. The truth is that an agent absolutely wants you to buy a house. What’s not true is that they want you to pay more for one.
9. They’re mostly part-timers or bored housewives
If you ask the average person to describe the archetypal real estate agent, they’ll probably say it’s an older married woman who is looking for something to do in her free time. Ugh. This is stereotyping at its finest, and ignores the hundreds of thousands of male agents, the hundreds of thousands of full-time agents, and the hard-working primary bread winners that make up the real estate workforce. Sure, the stereotypical agents do exist, but they’re the exception to the rule.
10. All they want from you is the deal
Yes, agents want your business. But true professional real estate agents want to be your lifelong real estate advisor. They want you to think of them whenever you or your family and friends have any real estate questions. They want to see you and talk to you more than once a decade, and they want to make sure that you remember your interactions with them as being absolutely delightful.
Did you know that the three major credit bureaus sell your personal information?
It's true! Known as "trigger leads," the files of borrowers applying for new credit are sometimes flagged, packaged and sold by the credit bureaus to merchants and finance companies.
As a trigger lead, you become susceptible to companies which may send pre-approved or pre-screened credit or service offers. You may wish to opt-out of these types of solicitations by visiting www.optoutprescreen.com.While this prevents many unsolicited new merchant offers, consider that you will also no longer receive news or offers on deals that may benefit you.
As you embark on what could be the largest financial transaction of your life, it's important to have a professional home loan specialist on your team who understands how credit impacts the loan process.
If you'd like more information on trigger leads, credit reports or available mortgage products to help you reach your financial goals and needs, contact us today.
Are you hooked on salt? Most of us are. Adults consume about 3,400 milligrams of sodium a day on average and that doesn’t count what you add with the salt shaker! Too much sodium can contribute to high blood pressure, leading to heart disease, stroke and other serious health problems. Here’s what you need to know and do to shake the habit.
Investors Team Realty 909 518 8317 Arun Tolia
Ah...marital bliss...if only it were true. You’re not married? Don’t stop reading! There’s valuable information ahead for having healthy and happy love relationships. This applies whether you’re the spouse, the boyfriend, the girlfriend, the dad, the mom, the child, or the grandparents.
Research shows it’s not the conflict that’s important in relationships, it’s how you manage the conflict. Here are seven secrets to improving your marriage...or any relationship that you want to enrich:
1. Keep Things Positive. If you want a happy relationship, researchers say you must be good-natured and friendly to your partner. Criticism and nit-picking are poison to good relationship building.
2. Follow The 1:5 Ratio. For every negative thing you say or do to your partner, you must balance it out by saying or doing five positive things.
3. Be Considerate and Respectful. Happy marriages and relationships are based on friendship and respect. Couples who like each other’s company and respect each other are more likely to stay together.
4. Don’t Try To Resolve The Irresolvable. There are times in a relationship that certain issues may not be resolvable. The key is to accept it and go forward.
5. Honor Differences. Couples who understand and accept each other’s quirks and idiosyncrasies are more likely to stay together.
6. Sometimes It’s Not What You Say, But How You Say It. Ninety percent of the friction of daily life is caused by the wrong tone of voice and word choice. Think before you speak. (If necessary, discuss conflicts while on the telephone, rather than face-to-face.)
7. Practice Relationship-Building Skills. Many couples think that, for things to improve, big changes must take place. Actually, making small changes in ourselves (acts of thoughtful kindness, compliments) can effect big, positive changes in your relationships.
Remember that marriage is like a bank account—you get out what you put in...with interest!
Investors Team Realty 909 518 8317 Arun Tolia