It will not be out in time for this Christmas, but you are going to want to start saving up for next year! At the Google keynote conference earlier this year, they announced their newest feature Android Auto. They are already moving forward in plans on improving it.
To sum it up quickly, the Android Auto allows you to plug in your phone into a compatible car with a built-in screen. The display is car-friendly and provides control on key app, such as streaming music and navigating maps, all while being hands free and voiced operated. The first car with this operating system will hit the market in 2015.
However, Google’s next step is to eliminate the phone altogether!
Google is very good at keeping secrets, but they are even better when it comes to teasing us with new information, like this one; They plan on having the Android Auto programed directly into cars. This is all apart of Google’s next operating system, Android M. Unfortunately; we will not be seeing this system for another year or two.
Having their system in the car forces the driver to use Google’s services every time they start their car. It will also be a benefit for the driver, because the technology in the car would improve the sensors, fuel gauges, and Internet connections in newer car models. With Google being embedded into vehicles, it puts them ahead of their competition: Apple.
Their competition is rushing to catch up with Google by making their own versions of smart watches and gadgets, while Android jumped one step ahead yet again. Most of Americans spend an average of 50 minutes or more a day in their car. By building Androids into cars, it will give the driver an effort-less and easy ride.
What do you think about Google being programed into cars? State your opinion and join our conversation on Facebook.Read more
Oh-No! You forgot to get a gift for someone on your list! Do not worry; it happens to the best of us. Do not fall into the stress of last minute shopping and give these gifts this holiday season.
1. Homemade Kits. These are popular gifts to give this year. They have almost any kind of kit you can think of: beer-making kit to hot sauce making kit, to even snood knitting kit and candle making kits! We recommend you try Brit + Co or Uncommon Goods.
2. A subscription. It could be to their favorite magazine or the wine of the month club. Lucky for you, you can find a subscription to almost anything these days.
3. A DIY gift basket. It does not have to be pricey at all or even have to make multiple trips. Pick one store, a theme for the basket, and then get creative!
4. A Warm gift. We all have that one friend who is always cold. There are gifts that range in various prices that they would appreciate. If you are looking for a cheaper gift to give, try these handmade shark slippers from Uncommon Goods. (No need for an age limit; they come toddler to adult sizes!)
5. The biggest fan. Singers and bands more than likely have their own website with merch shops. Make a purchase from the shop for that number one fan you know.
6. The obsessive pet owner. Gifts for a friend’s pet does not have to be given to the pet, but to friends themselves. It is as much of a gift for them as it is their pet(s). So go out and buy clothes for their dog, or a quirky scratch post for their cat.
7. Household gifts. Whether it is for a new homeowner or for the friend who loves to entertain, get them pieces that will have them itching to throw the next party or gathering.
8. Candy. This gift is simple for the person with the biggest sweet tooth. Get chocolates, or buy candy canes in odd flavors. They have pickle or bacon flavored candy canes out now!
10. Gift Card. These may not feel personal, but they will save you a lot of hassle with the picky person you know. Just give them a card to their favorite store, and let them spend the time to find the perfect item they want.
What is your go to last minute gift to give? Share your ideas and join our conversation on Facebook!
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2014 did not fall short when it came to amazing technology products! This year, go out and buy your loved ones gadgets, gears, and games to put under the tree and in their stockings. Are you unsure on what to buy? NO WORRIES! Here is a list of tech toys you can consider with links to previous Tech Corner articles to give you a full description of the item! We want to make sure you have a smooth shopping experience and be filled with all the information needed!
This gift’s age restriction is limitless! Whether you are buying it as someone’s very first tablet, or new upgraded version, the person receiving the gift will love it for many reasons: it is light to carry, the batteries on tablets can last up to 12 hours, and they are so simple to use. They also make a perfect device to reading e-books on, which is why we recommend the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook!
The watch has improved dramatically! They are no longer for just telling time. They can be connected to you phone and run apps, check text messages, and even make or answer phone calls! Luckily for you, they are offered for the Android or Apple friendly user! Purchase the newly made Apple Smart Watch, or get the upgraded Android smart watch by Google!
Backup Power Supplies:
Do you have that one family member that always has their face inside their smartphone? Buying them a portable charger for the holidays will stop them from having to unplug your light display just to charge their phone. Consider getting them the chargeable phone case, or a portable battery charger. Just remember that when shopping for a battery charger, the higher the milliamps (mAh), the more times it can power up a device.
We all have that one family member who must have the most recent video game to hit the market! Here are the Top 5 to buy this holiday season: Mario Kart 8, Skylanders: Trap Team, Super Smash Bros, LittleBigPlanet 3, and any of The Lego video games that are out and based on popular movies (Harry Potter, The Hobbit, Batman, etc.)
HAVE A HAPPY AND TECHY HOLIDAY!
Which gadget gift will your family members love? Join our conversation on Facebook!Read more
We have another ravishing home on the market located in the desirable neighborhood of Bulls Head. 25 Caswell is a one family attached home with three bedrooms and four bathrooms. It might just be the perfect match for you to move into! Find out why!
The exterior includes natural colored vinyl siding, matching white window frames, and a one-car garage. There is also a driveway that can fit up to one car if needed. Now, let us explore the inside of this three-floor home that contains baseboard hot water heat, new windows, and a new compressor.
Enter the home and be greeted by the foyer. Despite each bedroom having decent sized closets, there is no need to waste space in those closets for your coats because the foyer has a mirrored sliding door coat closet for you and your houseguest to use. Follow the white tiled floors down the foyer, into the large, blue-carpeted family room. You can also access the fenced in cemented backyard from family room. The sliding doors give an abundance amount of natural light into the room.
The first floor also has access into the garage, laundry room, utility room, and a newly renovated ¾ bathroom.
Walk up the tan colored carpeted stairs and set floor onto the second floor. The open and spacious living room dining room combination spotlights the tan carpet flooring and crown molding. The living room has an immense window that brings in enough light for this combo room. The dining room contains a ceiling fixture for your precious chandelier.
The eat-in kitchen has white tiled floors, light wooden cabinetry, and white countertops with a considerable amount of space to prepare your meals for the day. The kitchen event comes equipped with black-colored appliances: dishwasher and stove. Finally, the kitchen has sliding doors that can access the wooden deck in the backyard.
The second floor also has a ½ bathroom, located between the kitchen and dining room.
On the third floor are all three bedrooms. The master bedroom is spacious with high ceiling, and a double closet. This bedroom also has a private ¾ bathroom. The other bedrooms share the full bathroom that is on this floor. The attic can be accessed on this floor by the pull down stairs.
25 Caswell Lane is located on a quiet street but is by everything you will need: from shopping, to schools, and even transportation around the island. There are many schools in this neighborhood for all grades: P.S.22, P.S.44, P.S.60, I.S.51, Moore Catholic High School, and St. Albert School. The Staten Island Expressway is conveniently close, or you can take the MTA’s S46 bus. And finally, you will be surrounded by two of NYC’s extraordinary parks: Staten Island Industrial Park and Father Macris Park.
The only way to make this season official is to watch as many holiday specials as you can get in! While your favorite weekly televisions shows may be having themed episodes, you should add these movies or programs to your list to add to cheer!
1. Elf: Can you believe this movie entered our hearts ten years ago? Yet, we can watch it over and over again, enjoying it as if it was the first time viewing it. You can bet Will Farrell dressed up as an Elf will put you into great joy.
2. Frosty The Snowman: This 1969 film is a classic that gains a new generation of viewers as the years go on. With Frozen’s Olaf being such a big hit, you should do your family the honors and introduce them to the first magical snowman around!
3. The Nightmare Before Christmas: It is not just a Halloween movie! The Nightmare Before Christmas combines two awesome holidays into one movie. If Jack Skelton can find his Christmas spirit, than so can you!
4. Charlie Brown Christmas: Let’s hear it for Charlie Brown! While all their seasonal specials are a must watch, this particular one touches upon some valid points like over-commercialization during the holiday season. Most importantly, we cannot forget about the little Christmas tree!
5. The Muppet Christmas Carol: There is nothing the Muppets can do wrong. They nailed it again with their version of the Christmas Carol. If you can only watch this one, we highly recommend it!
6. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation: Another classic to the list. You can watch this movie year, after year, and not grow tired of it. Clark Griswold just wanted to give his family the perfect Christmas (Queue in the lights!)
7. The Grinch: “’Maybe Christmas’ he thought, ‘doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more’” Whether you tune in to the cartoon version, or the Jim Carrey film, it is known to make your heart grow three sizes big.
8. I Love Lucy: You must pay respects to the famous couple that made television history! Their Christmas episode is now being aired in color, making it feel as if it is the first time it is ever airing. Enjoy the flashbacks of Lucy episode while catching a slight of Santa!
9. SNL Christmas Special: It is the best of the best Holiday sketches from Saturday Night Live. Many great songs have come from these episodes such as Adam Sandler’s Hanukkah song!
10. Home Alone: Need I say more?
Which holiday movie is your favorite? Share thoughts in the comments below or join our conversation on Facebook!
Check out our Pinterest Top Ten Board for more pictures and how-to links.
In the very desirable and convenient neighborhood of Bulls Head, located on beautiful tree-lined residential street, there is a one family attached colonial home on the market with RealEstateSINY.com. 265 Landers Ave is a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom home in excellent condition! The home was built in 1995 and has tons of recent upgrades: new hardwood floors, a fully finished basement, and central air. The hot water tank is new as well. The three floor attached home will make a great first home as a homeowner, or a lovely new home for your family!
The exterior features vinyl siding with a new steel storm door and railing. There is a driveway that fits up to one car and available street parking.
Enter the home and find yourself in the central zone. The living room is big and bright. This is the first room you will encounter with the new hardwood floors. Pass the living room is the large kitchen. It has newly ceramic tiled floors and new stainless steel appliances: stove and refrigerator. The kitchen has lots of counter space and suitable pantries, ready for you to store your cooking equipment! This kitchen also spotlights a large eating area and sliders to access the fully paved yard. The half bathroom on the first floor is newer and features ceramic tile.
There are two generously sized bedrooms on the second floor. The first bathroom is the home’s master bedroom. It is spacious with hardwood floors and plenty of closet space. The second bedroom is large and also features hardwood floors and a big closet. There is even a shared full bathroom on the second floor.
The third bedroom is on the third floor. The private room has a huge closet. The room can make a perfect additional bedroom or even a home office! Pass the room has a walk-in storage room.
As mentioned before, this home has a fully finished basement. The laundry room and utility room can be found down there. The basement also has a large room that can be used as a family room or an extra bedroom.
The attractions do not stop within the home! In the neighborhood of Bulls Head, you have access to the beautiful Father Macris Park. The schools in this area are P.S.22, P.S.44, P.S.60, I.S.51, C.S.I High School for International Studies, and Moore Catholic High School. There are transportation options provided by the MTA: S44, S59, S62, X10, and X17C. If you are looking for some fun on the weekends, visit the Hilton Garden Inn’s Above Rooftop, which is located only minutes away from the house!Read more
Deck the halls with brightness and music! Thanks to Thomas Edison (with the help of his team Joseph Swan and Hiram Marxim) and William Gilbert, this season can shine bright with lights and electricity! Another thanks to technical advancements, the creativity of illumination during the holidays improves each year!
A single light bulb holds three LEDs: red, green, and blue. This is also known as RGB lights and they are the reasoning why we can work with up to 16-million different color combinations when decorating.
In the newer development of the holiday season, you can now use your smartphone apps to program a light show to play in the front of your home. This is no longer just a 5th Avenue and Rockefeller Center treat; you can make the dazzling display yourself. This set up is considered “Smart Lights”. With the help of the applications available on Apple and Android, Lumenplay and iTwinkle can be used with just a swipe at your phone’s screen. It can dim or brighten your lights, set them to music, or even chose new color patterns. This can all be done without having to put the holiday movie marathon on pause or moving from the couch!
Another advancement is the Projected Laser Lighting. This is good if you’re not into staying outside in the cold to hang a bunch of wired lights. This is a simple installment and is cordless! Using small spotlights, the device projects thousands of tiny pointed lights of red and green to float freely onto the surfaced exterior of your home. It gives the look that your home is cover with rope lights. It is a very magical look.
Once you are satisfied with your decorations, you should enter into RealEstateSINY.com’s 2014 Holiday Home Decorating Contest!
Which light displays will you try this year? We’d love to hear from you! Join our conversation on Facebook.
Need more holiday decorating tips? Follow our RealEstateSINY.com’s Holiday contest board. It is fill with DIY tutorials, ideas, and all the information you need for our 2014 Holiday Home Decorating Contest.
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Winter has arrived! December is officially here and we cannot be more excited about it! Christmas is just around the corner and while Santa is going over his list, twice, we suggest some ways to prepare you for getting into the holiday cheer and spirit!
1. Create the perfect holiday playlist. Having themed music will put you into the proper mood for the season! Make your very own playlist filled with your favorite songs and artists, or use pre-assembled ones from Google Music or Pandora.
2. Begin decorating. Hang the stockings with care, place the ornaments on the tree, and begin to put up so many lights, indoors and outdoors, that your home will sparkle brighter than the night sky filled with stars! Go crazy and make a Holiday decorating statement. When you are done and impressed with yourself, enter into RealEstateSINY.com’s 2014 Holiday Home Decorating Contest.
3. Cookies for all! Santa should not be the only lucky person to indulge in the cookie-mania! Bake a bunch of holiday cookies and share them with you friends, family, and co-workers. It is also a perfect excuse to throw a gingerbread cookie party.
4. Holiday drinks. Load up on the peppermint lattes, hot chocolate, and eggnog!
5. Holiday Movie Marathons. There is nothing cozier than wearing a big sweater, wrapping yourself up with a blanket, and sitting on your couch with homemade cookies and hot chocolate while watching every time slot of Elf playing on TV! There are stations that have already begun showing their holiday cheer by playing nothing but holiday movies! Only seems appropriate that we watch them.
6. Shopping galore! The stores will be madness but just think of the awesome sales going on. It is an amazing feeling finding the perfect gifts for you loved ones too.
7. Ugly Christmas Sweater. While you on shopping, expand your search to find the most hideous Christmas sweater being sold. Already have 10 of them? Add another to the collection. You can never have enough!
8. Wait for the perfect snowfall. Because what would be more perfect this month than a winter wonderland of snow? Where is Elsa when your need her? We want to build a snowman!
9. Christmas Parties. Get ready for all the holiday cheers! From cookie parties, to ugly christmas sweater parties, to office parties; attend them all in your best holiday get-up!
10. Freak out over neighborhood light displays. Make your friends pull over and enjoy the light shows your fellow Staten Islander’s have carefully put up for your enjoyment. That is what they are meant for, right?
What puts you in the best holiday spirit?? Share your traditions and join our conversation on Facebook!
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As 2014 draws to a close, a thorough look at at real estate investment earnings indicates a strong domestic market.
Admittedly, the United States real estate market has hit more than a few bumps in the road. Market health took a dive during the recession, where property values fell sharply after their peak in 2007. Since the recovery began, it has been a slow climb out of the rut that resulted in numerous foreclosures and tighter lending standards.
A study published in the month of November by Bloomberg pitted the US against international markets, using both financial markets and the housing market. US equities (The S&P 500) and The Dow Jones Select Real Estate Securities Index were both measured through November 10 in terms of percentage increase since December 31, 2013.
This index measures the performance of real estate investment trusts, which refers to investment companies that own income-producing properties. The study indicated that United States REITs performed roughly three times as well as ex-US markets. The term “ex-US” markets refer to emerging and developed markets outside of the US. The performance of domestic real estate increased 27.9% in total, as opposed to a 9.6% rise in the performance of global REITs in developed markets.
However, though not quite at pace of the United States, real estate equities as a whole have performed well in global markets. Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore all averaged double digit increases in 2014. Few countries experienced decreases in this sector. The only notable emerging or developed markets that actually declined were Japan, China, and Brazil.
The domestic financial markets experienced growth that far out-performed ex-US markets, which were actually in the red last year. Global ex-US equities fell by 1.6%, while The S&P 500 grew 12.2%.
This study reflects the high rate of return on income-producing real estate investments the United States has experienced in the past year. These investments also appear to be fairly sound outside of the US. Though we saw increases in the S&P 500, which is a boon for the domestic economy, the financial markets did not keep pace with the growth of REITs.
This means that despite certain economic factors like sluggish job and salary growth that have been major political topics, these numbers show that the United States economy, particularly the real estate industry, made substantial gains during the past year.
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