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Text only newsletter stories Issue 5 Vl. 3


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Headline: 5 myths about sun safety

The warm weather is here, and it’s the perfect time of year to get outside and have some fun with your family and friends. But it’s also important to protect your skin. Here are five common myths about sun safety.

Myth No. 1: It’s fine to tan as long as you don’t burn.
A sunburn is certainly more harmful than a simple tan, but any extended exposure to the sun can be harmful, regardless of your skin tone.

Myth No. 2: An umbrella will completely protect you from the sun.
Though an umbrella will go a long way toward keeping your skin safe during a day at the beach, the sand still reflects 17 percent of UV radiation. Wear sunscreen in addition to staying in the shade.

Myth No. 3: You don’t need sunscreen on overcast days.
False! About 80 percent of the sun’s rays still pass through on cloudy days, so you still need sunscreen.

Myth No. 4: The sun can’t pass through windows.
Glass filters out some UV rays, but not all. Be especially cautious if you or your passengers are exposed to the sun on a long car ride.

Myth No. 5: You need sun exposure to avoid vitamin D deficiency.
Extended exposure isn’t necessary—your body will get enough vitamin D from food, multivitamins, and minimal time in the sun.


Headline: How your daily drive time can factor into your mortgage

It’s easy to overlook some of the things that can affect your budget and purchasing power when you’re considering a home, and one of the biggest factors that buyers overlook is the cost of their daily commute.

We’ve all heard that real estate is all about “location, location, location,” and properties in more desirable locations typically come with a higher price tag than similar properties that aren’t in a hot neighborhood.

Yet the overall cost of living for choosing one location over another might be negligible when you factor in the commuting costs that are required—gas, vehicle maintenance, insurance—if you purchase a home that is significantly further from your workplace. If your mortgage is $200 less per month, but you’re spending an extra $200 in commuting costs, are you really saving money?

Commuting costs aren’t just about the disposable income left in your bank account, either. It can even affect how much money you can borrow. If you’re a long-distance commuter, a loan officer may factor your travel costs into your debt-to-income ratio.

Aside from how commuting affects your purchasing power or disposable income, there’s also the question of how it affects your quality of life—no one wants to spend hours a week just getting to and from work.

The real estate market varies greatly from location to location, so the best way to get a complete picture of your purchasing power—and all the factors that go into your home budget—is to speak to a trusted real estate professional.


Headline: Is hands-free actually safer?

A recent poll by the National Safety Council showed that 80 percent of Americans incorrectly believe that using a hands-free device while driving is safer than using a handheld device.

The truth—according to more than 30 studies—is that hands-free devices are no safer, because the brain remains distracted when you’re having a phone conversation.

“While many drivers honestly believe they are making the safe choice by using a hands-free device, it’s just not true,” said David Teater, senior director of Transportation Initiatives at the National Safety Council. “The problem is the brain does not truly multi-task.”

Talking on a handheld device while driving has been banned in 12 states, but there are no bans on hands-free devices, so it’s easy to understand why drivers may be confused about the risks. But for your own safety, try to avoid talking on the phone while driving, regardless of whether it’s handheld or hands-free.


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