April Service For Life Newsletter and Information

Your Home Sold GUARANTEED Or I’ll Buy It*…

 

Service For Life!

“Insider Tips For Healthy, Wealthy & Happy Living…”                                                               *conditions apply


Inside This Issue…

 

Quick Pick-Me-Ups (Not Coffee!) …Page 1

 

How To Keep Information Safe On Public Wi-Fi…Page 2

 

How To Tell If Your Cash Is Counterfeit…Page 3 

 

Easy Ways To Make Your Home More Energy-Smart…Page 3

 

Answer This Trivia Question and You Could Win Movie Tickets…Page 4

 

I Want To Buy A Home-How Do I Get Help With A Down Payment?……Page 4

Dear Friend, 

     

 

   Not only are there plenty of other ways to combat the afternoon slump, but they’re also good for you, too. In today’s Service For Life! ® Free consumer newsletter, you’ll learn easy ways to perk up your energy levels, from when to exercise to what color to paint your office.

 

   You’ll also learn about how to stay safe when you’re using a public Wi-Fi network, what to look for on U.S. currency to see if it’s counterfeit, and some things you can do at home to improve your house’s energy efficiency – plus fun facts, a trivia challenge, and lots more.

Warmest regards,

 

Gary Evans

Broker – Owner

Your Home Sold Guaranteed Realty 

832-721-0442 

gary@garyevansrealty.com 

 

 

 

P.S. When you notice people talking about real estate in the next few weeks, can you tell them about the free consumer information I provide?

 

They may be people getting married soon and looking to buy their first home, and you can tell them about my Free Consumer Report: “Top 10 First-Time Homebuyer Mistakes To Avoid.”  You’ll be helping them start marriage off by avoiding costly mistakes when buying and financing their home.  To request a copy for a friend, simply call me at:  832-721-0442 

Brain Teaser

What points in all directions but can never get there all by itself?

 (See page 4 for the answer.)

5 Non-Caffeine Energy Boosters   

    While most of us could benefit from getting more (or better) sleep, coffee and energy shots are not the solution to that brain fog you feel in the afternoon. There are some easy – and healthy – ways to boost your energy levels, however, many of which offer additional health benefits.

 

Here are a few tips to help increase energy, without caffeine:

 

  • Exercise in the middle of the day. Some studies show people who work out by midday are more productive, while others suggest you should head for the gym just as you’re starting to feel the afternoon slump. Regardless of timing, regular exercise is a great way to keep your body energized. That includes moving throughout the day – get up from the desk at regular intervals to do some yoga stretches or take a brief walk around the block.

  • Have smaller meals and eat more snacks. Food is fuel, and if you’re limited to three square meals a day your body is more likely to experience energy slumps as it burns through that fuel. Eat smaller meals (which means you’re less likely to fall into a food coma) and snack frequently. And make sure that what you eat gives you energy rather than sapping it. Complex carbs, fiber, and protein give your body longer-lasting energy, while sugar will make you crash after an initial energy spike.

  • Decorate with red. Colors definitely change our mood, and red has been shown to improve overall energy levels and productivity.

  • Drink plenty of water. We all know we should be drinking more water, but we’re often surprised at how many health problems come from dehydration – including fatigue. Limiting dehydrating beverages (coffee and alcohol) helps, too.

  • Add aromatherapy to your environment. Certain scents are more stimulating than others, which can help you feel more awake. Put a diffuser in your office and use essential oils like cinnamon, rosemary, or lemon.

Help us Help the Kids at Texas Children’s Hospital  

 

Your Referral’s Help the Kid’s at Texas Children’s Hospital.
If you or someone you know is thinking about making a move please refer them to my real estate sales team. They will benefit from our award-winning service and help a very worthy cause at the same time.


Just go to www.ReferralsHelpingKids.com and leave us their name, send them the link, or just call us at 832-721-0442. Gary

Secure Surfing On Public Wi-Fi

 

     The internet is everywhere these days, it seems, making it easier for us to stay connected (for work or play) no matter where we go. But just as there’s no such thing as a “free lunch,” free public Wi-Fi isn’t necessarily the boon it appears to be–you can expose private information to hackers and scammers. Here are some ways you can keep your information safer if you’re using public Wi-Fi.

 

  • The safest option is to turn your mobile phone into a hotspot, thereby avoiding unknown public networks entirely. Switch on the “personal hotspot” option in your phone’s settings and you’ve got a password-protected network for your use alone. (Note that this method uses your phone’s data, so if your phone plan has limited data this can use it up fairly quickly.)
  • People who travel or work outside the office frequently should consider investing in a mobile Wi-Fi device (like MiFi or Karma) for secure Wi-Fi on the go.
  • If you must connect to a public Wi-Fi network, the safest way to do that is by using a VPN, or “virtual private network.” VPNs encrypt data and connect you to secure servers, making it more difficult for nefarious characters to see what you’re doing through public Wi-Fi loopholes. There are both free and paid VPN clients out there, and in most cases, you’ll get what you pay for. In other words, the paid services are less likely to be suspect.
  • No matter how you get online when you’re out and about, it’s important to practice good internet hygiene. That means checking to see if HTTPS is at the start of web addresses you visit (‘S’ means secure), changing your passwords often (try Lastpass.com to safely manage passwords), and enabling two-factor authentication for apps and services you use. Additionally, in public places, be sure to turn off file sharing, and “forget” the public network when you’re done using it. And always avoid using websites that contain sensitive data, such as online banking, that could compromise your identity.

A Heartfelt Message to My Special Clients and Friends

 

I want to share a little secret with you. I don’t spend my time cold calling or pestering people for business. Instead, I focus 110% of my efforts on giving such outstanding service that people naturally think of me when a friend, neighbor or family member needs a caring and competent REALTOR®.

 

I would like to take a moment to acknowledge and thank a special couple in my life who’ve helped build my business with their enduring support and business. I couldn’t do it without you!

 

Brad and Heather Whinnery

How To Detect Fake Money

 

     We might be using cash less often these days, but that doesn’t mean counterfeiters aren’t still in the business of making fake money. Here are some identifying marks to help you tell fakes from the genuine article.

            All U.S. currency is made on special paper that has tiny red and blue threads woven into it. You should be able to pull those threads from the paper. If you can’t, it might a fake. Other features to look for:

 

  • Watermark: Most bills have a watermark copy of the main portrait, though older $5 bills may have a watermark “5” instead of Lincoln’s portrait.
  • Color-Shifting Ink: Denominations of $10 and higher each use color-shifting ink in the corresponding numeral. The number 10, for instance, should look copper when you look at it straight and change to a greenish color when you tilt the bill. The $100 also uses this ink for the bell symbol inside the inkwell.
  • Security Thread: Denominations of $5 and higher all have a thin security thread embedded into the paper, which can only be seen when it’s held up to the light.

Two handy online resources for checking your cash against the real thing are:

1. uscurrency.gov/denominations

2. secretservice.gov/data/KnowYourMoney.pdf

Would You Like To Know How Much Your Neighbor’s Home Listed or Sold For?  

Maybe you’re just curious. Or maybe you want to know how much your home is worth. Either way, I can help…with no “sales pitches” or run-arounds. Free Recorded Message 1-855-912-0814 ID 1014

 Save Energy, Save The Planet

 

            Making your home more energy-efficient has multiple benefits. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also make a positive environmental impact. Here are a few great ways to save energy and the planet simultaneously.

 

  • Stock the fridge. The average refrigerator uses roughly 9% of a home’s energy, and a full fridge uses less energy. (Overfull means it has to work harder to circulate air, though, so aim for reasonable.)
  • Keep the oven door closed. Don’t peek at that casserole! Opening the oven door makes the internal temperature drop by up to 25 degrees.
  • Wash clothes in cold water. Only about 10% of a washing machine’s energy usage is to make the motor run. The rest is to heat water.
  • Unplug chargers when not in use. Even when your iPhone isn’t plugged into its charging cable, the charger itself is still using energy.
  • Plant trees around the house. Deciduous trees planted around the house offer shade in summer and allow sun for warmth in winter, reducing your heating and cooling bill by up to 25%.

 The energy.gov/energysaver site has more useful tips for increasing your home’s energy efficiency, including updates on new technology.

Microfinance Websites

Saving time while saving the planet is easier than ever with the help of some of these mail order companies for things we all need at home.

 

dropps.com – Dropps makes plant-based cleaning pods for your dishwasher and washing machine. There are several scented (and unscented) options, and there’s no plastic in the pods or the packaging. 

whogivesacrap.org – Get premium recycled toilet paper, bamboo tissues, and paper towels made from bamboo and sugarcane delivered to your house and help fund the construction of toilets for people in need. There’s no plastic in their packaging, either.
 

mightynest.com/try-the-mighty-fix – MightyFix is a subscription box for the eco-conscious. Each month, subscribers get one green item to use in the home. Past goodies include beeswax food wraps, reusable produce bags, and wool balls for the dryer.

 

“Who Else Wants To Win

Movie Tickets?”

 

Guess who won last month’s Trivia Question? I’m pleased to announce the lucky winner of last month’s quiz. And the winner is…drum roll please: Jennifer Baker was the first person to correctly answer my quiz question.

 

According to the Congressional Research Service, in which decade did the largest percentage of the workforce belong to a union?

a) 1980s b) 1940s c) 1950s d) 1920s

 

      The answer is c) 1950s, with union membership as a percentage of employed workers in the United States peaking at 28.3% in 1954. So let’s move on to this month’s trivia question.

 

The name for this familiar sweet comes from the Persian and Turkish word for a sweet fruit juice. This word was also used in Europe for a carbonated drink. What is it?

a) Clafoutis b) Taffy c) Nougat d) Sherbet

 

Call Me At 832-721-0442 OR Email Me At gary@garyevansrealty.com

And You Could Be One Of My Next Winners!

Brain Teaser Answer:

Your finger

Real Estate Corner…

 

Q.  I’m wasting money on rent and want to buy a home.  How can I get help with a down payment?

 

A. There are ways to get a down payment, including the following:

 

  • Look into local or federal government programs.  They expire or change frequently, so ask your REALTOR® about any programs that may apply to your area and situation.
  • Have the seller finance you.  Some sellers may be willing to help you buy their homes in something called a “seller take-back.”
  • Use a financial gift from a friend or relative.  Tax law allows gifts of up to $15,000 a year to be given without tax consequences to the giver or recipient (see IRS publication 950).  You can get a gift from each parent or two friends without them having to pay a gift-tax, which brings it up to $30,000.

 

    For more information and tips on how to get a down payment to purchase a home, ask for my Free Consumer Report called “4 Quick Ways To Buy A Home With Little Down.”

     

            Do you have a question related to real estate or home ownership?  Please call me at 832-721-0442.  Perhaps I’ll feature your question in my next issue!

 

THANK YOU… for reading my personal newsletter. I wanted to produce a newsletter that has great content and is fun and valuable to you. Help your friends get more out of life by forwarding this email to them…

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Your Referrals Help the Kids at Texas Children’s Hospital

Eva and Layla’s story: Tiny and mighty

Images courtesy of Paul Kuntz and Rosimar Suddeth

The day we had longed for had finally arrived. We were pregnant – with twins! Our first-time parent excitement kicked into high gear. As the weeks went by, I delighted in taking weekly pregnancy photos and made it through my first trimester smoothly with all of the expected symptoms.

During my second trimester, however, all was going well until it was not. Our world was flipped upside down at 23 weeks gestation. I remember this day so vividly, too. I was at work when I experienced some leakage – not a significant amount, but also not minimal. In tears, I called my husband who told me to drop everything and head to my OB/GYN. Our physician attempted to perform an emergency cerclage, planning to stitch my cervix closed to prevent early delivery. Sadly, one of our daughter’s membranes had ruptured (PPROM) and it was too late for the procedure.

I was transferred to Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women and placed on bed rest. I decided to make the best of the situation and prayed fervently. I prayed for our girls to not experience distress, and I prayed for them to stay in my womb as long as possible. Each day, every ounce of growth would make a huge difference in their outcomes.

The girls were placed on breathing ventilators and had lines placed all over their little bodies for medications. They underwent procedure after procedure, including multiple blood transfusions. We had to wait two long weeks before I could even hold Layla, and an excruciating month before holding Eva, as she was especially fragile with severely underdeveloped lungs. At 12 days old, Eva needed open-heart surgery to close a heart murmur. Her recovery was slow, and she spent a total of 10 weeks on the ventilator.

Life in the NICU changes you, forever. We were elated when we finally got to take our girls home. Our family was together, and I could breathe easy. Eva came home on oxygen support, which was removed 5 months later. Both girls received early intervention therapy through Texas Children’s to help them catch up with their peers, which they have. Eva and Layla are now healthy, happy and silly 4-year-old girls who are starting pre-kindergarten this fall. This is such a huge milestone we get to celebrate!

Texas Children’s NICU taught us to cherish every moment and to treasure every accomplishment, as small as they may seem. It taught us that our family is resilient, and taught us that our daughters who entered this world as tiny preemies are fierce warriors. They have battle scars to prove it. We’re forever grateful for the compassionate, knowledgeable and extremely competent staff at Texas Children’s Hospital. We attribute love, prayer and expert medical hands as the reasons for their outcomes.

Our family’s journey is far from typical, but it’s our journey and we’re proud of both the obstacles our girls have overcome and the odds they have defied. As a mother, my wish to my girls is the following:

If you ever find yourself doubting your ability to overcome any obstacle that life may have in store for you, I pray for you to remember how you entered this world with grit and a spirit of resilience that lit up the darkness. May that light always burn bright within you, my beautiful miracles.

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