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#TBT: Sid Scores a Shootout!

DHREA 09/11/2017

 

This week’s Throwback Thursday is a flashback to when shootout wins weren’t that common. In fact, until twelve years ago, the Penguins never had one, as the NHL implemented the shootout overtime rule change before the 2005-06 season. True to form, Sid would be the “kid” for the job (he looks soooo young!). Crosby broke a 0-0 draw to give the Penguins their first ever shootout win, on November 10th. Sit back, eat some Member Berries, and watch Sid steal the show for one of the first times!

 

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Is Real Estate Right For Seniors?

DHREA 08/11/2017

Are you looking for a change in career? Perhaps you would like to get back into the workforce after some time in retirement? It is never too late to start a new career path!

In fact, your golden years are a prime opportunity to get into a new field. You have years of both life and professional experience that can ease the transition and give you insight into a new skill set. The American Institute for Economic Research shows that most older workers who make a career change are successful, especially if they can utilize skills they already have. Becoming a real estate agent is an excellent choice for seniors for a variety of reasons. You won’t be alone, either. According to the National Association of Realtors, the average realtor is 57 years old.

Why is Real Estate a Good Option for Seniors?

Although becoming a real estate agent requires a license and some training, seniors have been in the workforce for years and can utilize many of the skills they may have from personal and career experience. If you have any business experience, your skill sets in negotiation, marketing and client acquisition will allow you to get the first jump on making money from your new career. Any senior with experience in customer service or working with people will have an edge in real estate because once you acquire clients, convincing them to buy a home with you is where you will make your money. Most seniors also have the personal life experience of purchasing their own home, allowing insight into the customer perspective.

Another wonderful benefit of being a realtor is the flexibility it offers. It can be a full- or part-time career simply depending upon the amount of time you want to dedicate to it and the money you want to make. For the most part, you can make your own schedule. Sometimes the client’s schedule will dictate when you meet with them, but the research required on behalf of the client can be completed on your own time. You will need to interact with clients often, updating them as you receive new information on their homes or homes in their price range. If you live alone, becoming a real estate agent is a wonderful way to avoid social isolation.

In addition, realty is a great option for seniors because there are many senior homebuyers who feel more comfortable working with agents close to their own age. There is a special certification provided by the National Association of Realtors for realtors of any age to specialize in real estate for seniors. However, there are many senior homebuyers who prefer to work with someone in their age range because of similar life experience.

How to Get Started

If realty sounds like a great career fit for you, the first thing you need to do is research the amount of education you need for your real estate exam (each state has different requirements). After you contact a broker and they take you on as either an employee or an independent contractor, you can take your licensing exam. In order to take the exam, you have to pay for and pass a criminal background check. Each state also has its own exam for obtaining a license.

Keep in mind that if you are retired and you are younger than 67, your Social Security benefits might be reduced. If your income rises above a certain threshold, your Social Security benefits may become taxable. Planning out your finances is beneficial for you to determine a reasonable amount of weekly hours to work with clients so that you do not lose any of your current income.

Realty in Your Golden Years

If you are still worried about getting back into the workforce or changing careers late in life, you should know that the average baby boomer has held almost 12 different positions before they were 48 years old. You are in great company! More than 85 percent of homebuyers purchased their home through a real estate agent in 2015, and 88% of these individuals reported that they enjoyed working with their agent so much that they would recommend their services to friends and family.

As a senior with both professional expertise and life experience under your belt, you have the skills necessary to succeed in a real estate career. Helping people find the homes of their dreams is a wonderful way to enjoy this special time in your life!

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Get Ready For Light Up Night 2017!

DHREA 07/11/2017

 

 

The official start of the downtown holiday season will take place on Friday, Nov. 17,  for Comcast Light Up Night 2017! City and business leaders from the region gathered inside the U.S. Steel Tower to announce the highlights of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership’s 57th annual event.

Among them are music headliners Andy Grammer (a five-time Top 10 hitmaker and “Dancing with the Stars” alum) and YouTube pop sensation Maggie Lindemann; a karaoke contest; new pop up experiences; and “Blast! Party”, a VIP opportunity to attend a party in the U.S. Steel Tower and tour the roof.

Perhaps the largest addition, “Blast! Party”, will take place from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. A $100 ticket will get you access to the party inside the U.S. Steel Tower with signature cocktails, food and entertainment as well as special access to the roof for tours between 7 to 9 p.m. There is also an area available to VIP guests to view fireworks on the Andy Warhol Bridge.

The sixth annual Peoples Gas Holiday Market will include 35 international and local vendors, New additions include Monmade, a collective of local makers; Yo Sox; Pittsburgh Pottery and Le Petit Chocolat. Santa’s House will once again offer pictures with Santa for a donation to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. The market opens on Light Up Night and will run daily (with the exception of Thanksgiving) through Dec. 23.

One addition to Market Square this year is a karaoke contest with a $1,000 cash prize. From 5 to 7 p.m. every Monday and Tuesday from Light Up Night until Dec. 12, contestants can bring their best karaoke skills to the stage for a chance to compete in the finale on Monday, Dec. 18.

There will be five Holiday Pop Ups this year, the returning bar Miracle Market, retailers Technogel Sleeping Pop Up Shop, Vignette and Peter Lawrence, and a Pop Up Nickelodeon operated by the Theater Historical Society at 811 Liberty Ave. The Nickelodeon is a nod to the nation’s first Nickelodeon, which was located on Smithfield Street. The Pop Up will screen classic films from the early 1900s including “The Great Train Robbery” and “A Trip to the Moon” for a nickel. Miracle Market will be in a new location this year in The Original Oyster House, and a portion of its sales will benefit 412 Food Rescue.

Holiday staples, such as the world’s only authorized replica of the Vatican’s creche (construction was underway outside of the Steel Tower Thursday), the free Holly Trolley and free horse-drawn carriage rides, will return, as will free parking in Pittsburgh Parking Authority garages on Black Friday and Saturdays.

 

Click here for a complete schedule of music, tree lightings and other events!

 

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This Week In Pittsburgh History: Mister Rogers’ Statue!

DHREA 03/11/2017

 

misterrogersstatue

Back on November 5th, 2009, our beloved Pittsburgh native Fred Rogers was immortalized on the North Shore. The bronze sculpture was created by Robert Berks, and is the centerpiece of Tribute to Children. A former pier from the Manchester Bridge is located directly behind the statue, which forms an arched walkway leading to the statue. The sculpture weighs approximately 4 tons, stands about 10 feet 10 inches tall, and 7 feet 3 inches wide (from the hip on one side to the extended foot on which Rogers is tying his shoe). Mister Rogers is depicted smiling and facing the city of Pittsburgh. If you happen to be in the city this weekend, stop by and wish him (the statue) a happy birthday!

 

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Lower Your Energy Bill This Winter

DHREA 02/11/2017

thermostat

 

Whether you’re hoping to ease your impact on the planet or just want to save a few dollars, reducing your energy use can help you get there. In fact, 10 percent of renters said that utilities are their biggest monthly expense, coming in third after monthly rent and groceries.

Heating and cooling your apartment, especially those in regions with extreme temperature shifts, can be among the more expensive components of your utility bill. Luckily, making some easy adjustments in your home can dramatically reduce how much you spend on energy.

Here are several tips to reduce energy consumption and maintain comfortable temperatures in your home this winter:

1. USE THE SUN TO YOUR ADVANTAGE

That bright orb in the sky should be the focus of temperature control in your residence throughout the year. Open the curtains on your south-facing windows during winter days to bring free heat into your home. Close your window coverings when the sun goes down to keep the heat inside.

2. BUNDLE UP

This is one of the easiest ways to save on your heating bill. Instead of turning the heat up, put on a cozy winter sweater and warm socks. Keep throw blankets on your couch, and add an area rug to insulate the floor.

3. USE CEILING FANS

Homes that have better ventilation and airflow can be more energy efficient in the summer and winter months. If you have ceiling fans in your apartment, you have more control over ventilation than you know. Ceiling fans can be used strategically to achieve better airflow: counter-clockwise will push hot air up in the summer and clockwise will trap heat inside to keep your rooms warmer during cooler months. Turn your ceiling fan on a low setting to gently push hot air back down.

4. THERMOSTAT ADJUSTMENT SETTINGS

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save about 10 percent per year on your heating bills by turning your thermostat down 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours. Consider investing in flannel sheets and a warm comforter for your bed and keeping your apartment cooler when you sleep.

5. WASTE NOT, WANT NOT

If you have rooms that you never use, like guest rooms or large storage areas, close and seal off the vents in those rooms to be more energy efficient and direct the flow of air to the rooms you use most. Energy bills run, on average, $183 per month. By using a space heater in the rooms where you need it and setting the thermostat to 62 degrees, you can save approximately $200 each year.

6. FURNACE MAINTENANCE

Keeping your furnace and vents properly maintained will reduce energy consumption and help you save. Check your furnace filter monthly, and replace it when it gets dirty.

7. GET A HUMIDIFIER

The air inside your home can become very dry. Moist air feels warmer and holds heat better, so a humidifier can help you feel comfortable when your thermostat is set at a lower temperature. You can also increase the humidity in your apartment with a collection of house plants.

8. INVEST IN INSULATION

Hundreds of thousands of dollars in energy costs are lost each year due to escaping heat and cold air in homes without proper insulation. Get some inexpensive insulation from your local home improvement store, and cover up all those areas where heat might escape. Start with foam weather stripping for your doors and windows; it’s cheap and is extremely easy to apply.

9. USE LED LIGHTS

Buy new LED holiday lights, which use at least 75 percent less energy and last 25 times longer than older, incandescent lighting. In addition to consuming less energy, LED lights don’t emit as much heat and are more resistant to breakage, making them a safer alternative. Bonus tip: Always unplug your holiday lights before going to bed or leaving the house. As with all appliances and electronics, your holiday lights will continue to draw power even when not in use, which adds unnecessary expense to utility bills.

10. ONLY USE EXHAUST FANS WHEN NECESSARY

Exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom pull the hot air that rises to the ceiling out of your apartment. Use exhaust fans sparingly, and shut them off when you are done with them.

 

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