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The decision was a windfall for real estate developers such as Tom Barrack, a close Trump friend and Trump donor who chaired the president's …

Ask Brian: Tips for Stocking Up at Home During Coronavirus

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Ask Brian is a weekly column by Real Estate Expert Brian Kline. If you have questions on real estate investing, DIY, home buying/selling, or other housing inquiries please email your questions to [email protected].

from Kim in Portland, OR:
Hello Brian,We are a household of
three generations that includes my husband one child, and my mother. We’ve
never thought about being “preppers” in the least bit. Now that we are staying
at home and my husband is working from home (I can’t work from home), we kind
of wish we had done a little more preparation. My mother does most of the
cooking and typically went shopping 3 or 4 times a week. We didn’t have many
supplies around the house when we were told to stay home and go shopping less
often. What do you suggest we do now?

Hello Kim. Hi Kim,
I hope all is well in your home. This isn’t what I typically write about when
it comes to DIY but these aren’t typical times. One thing I’ll say is that you
don’t need to be a “prepper” to get through this. Although there have been some
temporary shortages of some items (mostly hygiene products), there isn’t
expected to be any significant food shortages. Crops and harvests of food
staples have not been affected. There is some concern that some nations might
restrict food exports but the U.S. is still the breadbasket to the world. We
aren’t in for any foreseeable shortages. Something to keep in mind is that
almost all farmland is far from the big cities where the virus is concentrated.
Growing and moving food through the supply chain will remain an essential
service that shouldn’t see any impact. So, let’s look at food safety and what
you should consider buying when you do go to the grocery store.

Currently, there is no evidence of
food or food packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19. There
have been very few reports of store employees testing positive for the virus
(as of March 6, nationally only four infected employees have been reported by
the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union; total number
unknown). Even before the outbreak, stores had personnel practices that protect
against contamination of food. Additionally, most stores are instructing
employees to wash their hands more frequently, use hand sanitizer, clean
surfaces more aggressively, and practice social distancing. But we have no idea
how many might be infected but not diagnosed. And of course, you’re going to be
in closer contact with the general public when you go shopping. That means
keeping your own social distance. Also, other protective measures are beginning
to be used, such as limiting the number of shoppers, sneeze guards at checkout
stands, and not allowing reusable grocery bags for the time being. Something
else you can do to reduce contact with other people is to shop during early-morning
and late-night hours when fewer people are in the store. The bottom line is
that other people are the most likely source of infection, not the food.

The first place to start protecting
yourself is by wiping down the handle of the shopping cart with a disinfected
wipe before you start shopping (many stores are providing wipes). Next,
thoroughly wash your hands as soon as you get home from shopping. Do this even
before you bring in the groceries or put them away. That will help with any
contact you might have had with people outside your home. Some people (but not
many) are wiping down purchased goods as they take them out of bags and before
storing them in the house. You may want to wash fresh vegetables and fruits
before storing them. What is a good idea is washing your hands again after
putting groceries away. Other people are washing their hands when they open
packages as they are preparing meals. Of course, it’s a good idea to wash
frequently while cooking. That and disinfecting y food preparation surfaces
should keep everything in your kitchen safe.

So Kim, what should you be shopping
for if you didn’t have much for supplies to begin with? The basics should be
whatever you normally shop for on a more frequent basis. You might want to just
buy in slightly larger quantities without hoarding. Many distributors are
working extra hours to keep shelves stocked. The general rule is to stock about
three weeks of supplies and then replenish as needed. You probably want to have
some canned goods on hand but now is actually a good time for preparing healthy
meals. Healthy meals are always best but even more important for maintaining
good health during a pandemic. Before you overstock on canned goods, make sure
you fill your freezer with fresh foods. Vegetables, meats, and some fruits can
be frozen for at least a month. Frozen foods are healthier than canned goods.
And before you overstock on canned foods, also go for some common dried foods
like dried beans,
rice, pasta, and even popcorn for a snack.

When it does come to canned foods,
some fruits do better canned than frozen. These are also a good source of
vitamin C if you aren’t eating many fresh fruits. Nuts also preserve well on a
pantry shelf. Full-grain breakfast cereals are one of the better preserved
foods. As are granola and protein bars. Canned tomatoes are good for making
sauces to go with the pasta. You may also want chicken, beef, and vegetable bouillon
cubes or stock to make soups and sauces. You might also stock some canned
soups, vegetables, meats, prepared meals (like ravioli), and baby food.

There are a few non-food supplies
you should consider. There’s no reason to think the tap water supply will
become contaminated but if you prefer bottled water, you might want to pick up
a water purification pitcher so that you don’t need to stock weeks’ worth of
bottled water. Also, make sure your first aid kit is fully supplied (including
a thermometer). The
recommendation is keeping a month’s supply of prescription medicines on hand. You
also might want some over the counter remedies for food poisoning or stomach
flu. And don’t forget about other consumables like baby supplies and shampoo.
Hand soaps are better than hand disinfectants so stocking a little more hand
soap is a good idea.

Kim, you don’t need to fill your
garage with months’ worth of supplies. This isn’t a nuclear winter. This is
about limiting our exposure to other people. The supply chain is working fine.
The best thing we can do to help each other is only stock what we need between
shopping trips about once a week or less.

Do you have insights for staying home during the coronavirus? Please leave your comments.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Our weekly Ask Brian column welcomes questions from readers of all experience levels with residential real estate. Please email your questions or inquiries to [email protected].

Author bio: Brian Kline has been investing in real estate for more than 35 years and writing about real estate investing for 12 years. He also draws upon 30 plus years of business experience including 12 years as a manager at Boeing Aircraft Company. Brian currently lives at Lake Cushman, Washington. A vacation destination, near a national and the Pacific Ocean.

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The DC Housing Market: 7 of the Greatest Places to Invest

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There are many great places in Washington, DC when it comes to investing in real estate. You can learn more about the DC housing market here.

Washington DC is home to a lot of amazing things. From The White House to the Smithsonian Museums to countless restaurants, breweries, and entertainment venues, DC has it all. 

It’s also home to some of the best real estate investment opportunities. The DC housing market is booming, and if you’re looking to invest in it, we’re here to help.

Read on for some of the best neighborhoods in DC to invest in real estate. 


Trinidad is a booming neighborhood in the Northeast quadrant of Washington DC. The neighborhood is close to the famous dining and nightlife culture of H Street and a 10-minute walk to Union Market. It’s also close to the Metro Red Line so you can get wherever you need to in the city. 

The neighborhood is full of 1920s rowhouses that are in high demand. The diverse neighborhood was once one of the most dangerous areas in DC but has risen to become one of the most sought after parts of the city. 

The median sale price is $517,000 and the median home values are $367,172.


The northeast DC neighborhood of Brookland is also known as “Little Rome” because of its high concentration of churches, chapels and monasteries. It’s been the home of Catholic University since 1887 and is a well-preserved older neighborhood.

Redevelopment of many of the older buildings has made it attractive to investors, and it’s home to one of the best art scenes in the city. It’s also home to the Brookland-CUA Metro station, a huge transit hub.

The median home value in Brookland is $526,524 while the median sales price is $576,861.


Another northeast neighborhood worth looking into is Woodridge. The quiet residential area features Colonials, Craftsman and Bungalow style homes from the early 20th century.

While the neighborhood itself may be quiet, it’s conveniently close to a bustling commercial area with plenty of restaurants, bars, and entertainment. The average sales price in Woodridge is $600,000.

Adams Morgan

If you’re looking to invest close to the action, the Adams Morgan neighborhood is where to be. Located just north of central downtown this area has a vibrant nightlife scene, including trendy bars, eclectic dining, and great music venues. It’s close to Dupont Circle and Thomas Circle, where you can also find a lot of great apartments.

With so much to do right outside of your doorstep, Adams Morgan is the dream neighborhood for those who want to ditch the car for a bike, transit, or simply their own two feet. The average sales price for a home in Adams Morgan is around $600,000.

Other Great Neighborhoods in the DC Housing Market

While we chose to highlight these few gems of the DC housing market, there are plenty of other great areas. Benning Ridge is a great area to invest in rental properties with plenty of duplexes and condos. Southwest Waterfront is a beautiful area just south of downtown with plenty of waterfront activities to be had and amazing views.

For other interesting news stories, be sure to stay here and keep reading. 

The post The DC Housing Market: 7 of the Greatest Places to Invest appeared first on RealtyBizNews: Real Estate News.

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8 DIY Projects to Tackle While You Shelter in Place

Got more time on your hands while you ride out the coronavirus pandemic at home?

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PHILADELPHIA, March 30, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Resource Real Estate, LLC (“Resource”), as the sponsor of Resource Real Estate …

Self-Care Tips to Practice at Home While Social Distancing

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As the world continues to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, health officials are recommending social-distancing and self-quarantine practices to slow the spread of the disease. This means, for the foreseeable future, we’ll be spending a lot more time at home. Our daily routines will shift, we’ll be without the face-to-face social contact that helps keep us feeling connected and positive, and we’ll need to adjust to this new normal. 

That’s why now, more than ever before, prioritizing emotional and mental health is so important. Luckily, there are so many things you can do at home to show yourself some love and boost positivity. Not only are these practices a great way to manage anxiety, but they can also help you stay healthy and give your days more structure. 

To help you get started, we’ve rounded up some of the best self-care tips from professionals in the self-care and wellness field that you can start practicing today.

Be kind to yourself 

One of the best self-care tips you can follow right now is to be kind to yourself. While there is a lot you can’t control, you can, at the very least, pay attention to your feelings and practice self-compassion.

Try this: 
No one can figure all this out in one week. Give yourself a little grace and remember you are resilient! – Martha Rosado, Owner,  Anxiety Specialist Counseling Center

Even people who don’t usually struggle with anxiety are experiencing more worry and anxiety now. So, practice self-compassion and don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re experiencing more anxiety than usual. – Anxiety Canada

Limit information intake and screen time

While it’s important to remain informed, if you spend your entire day watching and thinking about the news, it creates a mindset of powerlessness and panic. Taking a break from it all can help reduce stress and give your mind room for positive thinking. 

Try this: 
It’s important to put time limits on media exposure to avoid feeling overwhelmed. –  Kevin L. Gyoerkoe, Psy.D, The Anxiety and OCD Treatment Center

Set a timer on your phone and when it goes off walk away, play with your kids, take a walk outside, play a game, or do a guided meditation. The amount of information we are taking in right now can be overwhelming and counterproductive to making the best choices for ourselves. – Angela Saeger, Cedar Point Therapy

Create and stick to a daily routine 

With so much change, it’s crucial that you try to maintain your routine as best you can. Doing so can give your days more structure, purpose, and hopefully a bit of normalcy. 

Try this:  
Schedule your exercise, work, and food at a specific time and it will give you a balanced day. – Yvonne Phillips, Feng Shui World

Your morning and bedtime routines are particularly important. Get your kids dressed, spend time on schoolwork, play, and connect with loved ones via technology (virtual dinner parties!). – NW Anxiety Institute

Reduce stress and anxiety with meditation and deep breathing 

For most people, anxiety levels are rising as the days go by. However, panicking and stressing provide no protection against this crisis. If anything, doing so makes you more vulnerable. The immune system can’t function at its highest potential when the mind is worrying.

Try this: 
Take care of your nervous system and reduce your anxiety with a practice such as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) Tapping. EFT Tapping can support you so that your body is able to handle the electrical load of the huge amounts of stress we find ourselves in. I am also sharing a free EFT meditation that anyone can download and practice by themselves. – Damla Aktekin, Vibrational Healer, A Drop Of Om 

Other than chocolate and wine, our self-care tip is to go to our website and press our “panic button.” Don’t worry–no one will show up at your door–it’s just a recording of us talking you through your anxiety. It’s anonymous and free so press away! – Abs & Mags, The Anxiety Sisters

Find a quiet place for a few minutes to focus on your breath to ground yourself and increase feelings of calm and relaxation. – Mindful Soul Center for Wellbeing 

Several times a day, pause to do some conscious breathing. Relax, be very still, and then silently count out ten slow deep breaths. For that short period, focus your undivided attention on the passage and feel of your in-breath and your out-breath. – Morgan Dix, Cofounder, About Meditation & the One Mind Podcast

Deep breaths connect us to our whole selves, deliver much-needed oxygen to our cells, and keep us present. Aromatherapy with pure essential oils in addition to mindful breathing is a treat for our respiratory system and can lift the mood. – Amanda May-Fitzgerald, Owner, Wild at Heart

Don’t forget to stay active

Social distancing doesn’t mean you have to lounge around on the couch all day. Moving your body for 30 minutes a day is a great self-care practice to get endorphins flowing and boost energy. 

Try this:  
Aerobic exercise and resistance training are my go-to activities to reduce anxiety levels. There are a ton of free high-quality home workouts on YouTube. One work out will improve your day greatly. – Salmon Ptasevich, Anxiety Social Net

You can practice self-care and boost alertness by waking up with a meditation or morning stretch. I’ve made it more enjoyable by misting our Wanderlust Room & Linen spray on the yoga mat before practice or around me before I begin a meditation. It’s calming essential oils of organic Lavender and Ylang Ylang. – Aba T. Gyepi-Garbrah, Aba Love Apothecary 

Use this time to make note of the positives in your life

As the world deals with uncertain times, it can be easy to look at this entire experience negatively. But what if you paused and decided to focus on the positives instead? What if you used this time to be grateful for all the good in your life?

Try this:
This is a great opportunity to slow down, be present and have gratitude for moments that we oftentimes take for granted, like taking a leisurely walk or having more time with kids, partners or pets. – Lori O’Mara, LCSW, CST, Cope Better Therapy

Evaluate opportunities for self-growth

All of this free time provides the perfect opportunity for introspection. Maybe for years, you’ve wanted to start meditating, or maybe you’ve always wanted to read more. No time is greater than the present to tackle some goals and make changes you’ve always wanted to.  

Try this:
Think about what changes you are making that improve your well-being. How can you keep up those habits when the crisis passes? – New Dream

Use this time of rest as an opportunity to let go. Assess the life you’ve been living and what you would like to change. Start by looking within. How can you declutter your mind, body, AND spirit during this virus? What positive things can you add to your life to help you get through this? – Kristin Fehrman, Mindful In Style

Boost your immunity

Unfortunately, we don’t yet know how to fully prevent or manage the damage caused by the coronavirus. However, this doesn’t mean our efforts are completely hopeless. In addition to staying home, there are a number of simple self-care tips and practices you can incorporate to boost immunity and improve your health. 

Try this: 
Sea salt baths are a great self-care tip to reduce stress and enhance immunity. They increase mineral levels and lower inflammation. I am also a huge fan of castor oil packs, placed directly on the abdomen or the liver because they pull toxins out of the body and can be done while laying down or relaxing. – Mindful Health

Don’t let the fear and panic get under your skin. Every time you worry or surf the net looking for the updates, your cortisol level (stress hormone) goes up, and stress is not your immunity’s best friend. – Zara Martirosyan, CEO & Founder, inKin Social Fitness Platform

Intervals in the shower between cold and warm temperatures. To boost your immune system do 1-minute warm followed by 15 seconds cold.- Dennis Simsek, The Anxiety Guy 


It’s vital to stay connected during this time. Practice this self-care tip by Facetiming with your grandparents or having a virtual dinner party with your friends. 

Try this: 
Social distancing does not mean social isolation. Isolation is highly risky behavior for anyone, especially given the anxiety and fear that has been embedded in the overall social reactivity. Creatively reframe the phrase self-quarantine to safe social connection. – Barry Philson, Ph.D., Barry Pilson Therapy

Realize we are all part of a community and we’re all in this together, from New York City to Sacramento (and everywhere in between). We’ll only come out stronger and more united in the end. Do things to help others in your community who may be in need, who may have difficulties helping themselves. 

Try this: 
Some teenagers/young adults are seeing how they can help the elderly in their neighborhoods with grocery runs, etc.- Dr. Daniel Binus, MD, Beautiful Minds Medical 


Redfin does not provide medical advice
All of the material provided on Redfin’s blog, such as text, treatments, dosages, outcomes, charts, patient profiles, graphics, photographs, images, advice, messages, forum postings, and any other material provided on Redfin’s blog are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding your health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on Redfin’s blog.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Redfin does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on Redfin’s blog. Reliance on any information provided by Redfin’s blog, by persons appearing on Redfin’s blog at the invitation of Redfin’s blog, or by other members is solely at your own risk.

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8 DIY Projects to Tackle While You Shelter in Place

Got more time on your hands while you ride out the coronavirus pandemic at home?


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Leader’s Edge Training, which has helped more than 50,000 real estate professionals over the last three decades, is now offering its Agent Success App to all brokerages and agents for free.

“As the impact of the coronavirus spreads, we wanted to do something to bolster the industry,” said Chris Leader, founder of Leader’s Edge Training. “We realize that as agents are forced to work remotely and they’re isolated from their colleagues and managers, it becomes harder to keep a consistent workflow. Because the Agent Success App is an accountability tool, it has huge value today. And rather than only making it available to our clients, we want to give everyone the opportunity to use it at no cost.”

The Agent Success App works like a fitness app for an agent’s real estate business. It takes their income goal and turns it into activity targets for the year, month, and day. Agents keep track of their key business activities – prospecting, appointments, contracts, and sales – and the app shows them their progress. 

“It’s really about focusing on the fundamental activities and reminding agents that they need to keep filling their pipeline, no matter what else is going on,” said Tina Leader, Leader’s Edge Training’s Chief Operating Officer, who spearheaded the app’s development. “We really believe agents have to treat real estate like a business, and that ethos is baked into the app.”

Click here for more information about the Agent Success App or download it on the App Store or Google Play. 

Leader’s Edge Training has a well-established online presence with its Virtual Training program that consists of more than 16 hours of video tutorials covering 14 different aspects of the real estate industry. The company has a staff of 15 trainers and coaches.

“When we created our online learning platform 10 years ago, we did it as a resource for smaller brokerages who weren’t able to host outside trainers to do on-site work,” Leader said. “Because the online pieces, which are delivered in shorter segments, have the same content as our 6-week on-site training, we found that many of our clients often used the videos as a refresher. Now, because of the pandemic, so many brokerages and individual agents have adjusted and are taking advantage of our online platform.”

About Leader’s Edge TrainingLeader’s Edge Training was founded by Chris Leader in 2008. Leader has more than 30 years of experience as a real estate trainer after a successful career as an agent and broker. The company, based in Barrie, Ontario, has provided real estate training to thousands of agents, managers and industry leaders. For more information, visit


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8 DIY Projects to Tackle While You Shelter in Place

Got more time on your hands while you ride out the coronavirus pandemic at home?

Short Sales: What Buyers Need to Know

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Buyers looking for a bargain often ask their agents about short sales and foreclosures, hoping to get a property at bargain pricing. But when they don’t educate themselves about these types of properties, some buyers find themselves in for more than they bargained for.

© Andy Dean –

What is a short sale?
A short sale gets its name because the mortgage holder’s lender has agreed to accept a loan payoff that is less than the balance remaining on the mortgage.

Unlike homeowners in foreclosure, those going through short sale are not necessarily behind in their mortgage payments. Sometimes, they are just “upside down,” meaning they still owe more on their loan than their home is worth because of a decline in home values. The discount in pricing that the lender allows is typically an amount that brings it back in line with what the market will bear.

Short sale versus traditional sale
The starkest difference between a short sale and a traditional home sale is that with a short sale, the lender has final say on the deal. Because a third party is involved, buyers often wait several months before hearing whether their offer has been accepted.

Compared to traditional sales, which often close in 45 days, short sales can take anywhere from two to four months to close. This makes it difficult to time the sale of your existing home with your new one.

Some words of caution
You can expect a short sale property to be sold “as is,” meaning neither the homeowner nor the lender is going to make any requested repairs. You can still have a home inspection and write into your offer that the sale is contingent upon satisfactory home inspection results.

The key takeaway about short sale properties is that not all will sell at or even near the listed price. That’s because the sale requires lender approval. Another thing to keep in mind is that you must rely on the seller’s agent to package your offer and present it to the lender. You may also find that closing costs are higher than with a traditional sale.

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