Why Asian American Homeownership Is Lagging Behind

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Job losses during the COVID-19 pandemic and an alarming surge in hate crimes have taken a toll on Asian American homebuyers.

Only about 60.6% of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are homeowners, according to U.S. Census Bureau data used in a recent report from the Asian Real Estate Association of America. While that’s higher than other communities of color, it’s lower than the national homeownership rate of 65.6% in the first quarter of 2021. And it’s significantly lower than the white homeownership rate of 73.8%.

The report was put out by AREAA in a partnership with Re/Max and Freddie Mac.

“The challenges we face grew substantially throughout the pandemic, including job losses as well as an immense increase in hate crimes and subsequent housing discrimination that are forcing so many to stay in their current communities rather than move to new and unfamiliar places,” AREAA President Amy Kong said in a statement.

The lower homeownership rate was despite Asian Americans, not including Pacific Islanders, earning more money than the national average. American households of all descents earned a median $68,703 in 2019, according to the Census Bureau.

The problem is the community tends to live in more expensive areas on the coasts.

When they do buy homes, they often spend more as real estate is more expensive in these areas. The median home value for Asian Americans was $472,500—compared with a national median home list price of $380,000 in May, according to the most recent Realtor.com® data. It was lower for Pacific Islanders, with median values of $352,100. Pacific Islanders have lower median household incomes, of $66,464, and homeownership rates, of just 40.1%.

More than 2 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders were the victims of hate incidents since the beginning of the pandemic. The prejudice most commonly took the form of verbal harassment, but members of the community also reported being shunned, physically assaulted, coughed and spit on, and trolled online.

To put this into context, there are nearly 19.27 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the U.S., making up about 5.9% of the population.

“There’s the fear of moving to places that don’t have large Asian American communities because of the discrimination and the rise of anti-Asian sentiment,” says AREAA Executive Director Hope Atuel. “We’ve heard of people who have turned down job offers because of the fear. Fear can paralyze people.”

On top of everything else, language barriers in the buying process were an another obstacle that many members of this community faced. Many in the community don’t realize that they don’t need 20% down to purchase homes and there are other loan options available.

In addition, while many Asian Americans have good-paying jobs and savings, they may not have built up sufficient credit histories to help them qualify for the best mortgages.

While almost half of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community lives in the West, with almost a third in California, more are increasingly gravitating to the South. That’s likely because the weather is warmer and home prices and the cost of living tend to be lower than on the coasts. The South had the highest homeownership rate within the community of 65.4%. Georgia was particularly popular with buyers.

The community has been attracted to the high-skilled jobs that migrated to the region along with the lower taxes and cost of living.

“It’s more affordable to buy newer and larger homes in the Southeast,” says Atuel.

Only five real estate markets with large Asian American and Pacific Islander populations had homeownership rates that were higher than the national average. Riverside, CA, where the median home price in the metropolitan area was $519,900 in May, topped the list. About 71% of the Asian American population there were homeowners. Homeowners of Chinese descent had even higher homeownership rates of 78% there.

Rounding out the top five metros were Washington, DC, 69%; Miami, 69%; Houston, 69%; and Atlanta, 67%.

On the flip side, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders had some of the lowest homeownership rates in some of the coldest states of Illinois, Minnesota, Massachusetts, and New York.

The post Why Asian American Homeownership Is Lagging Behind appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Why Asian American Homeownership Is Lagging Behind

Getty Images

Job losses during the COVID-19 pandemic and an alarming surge in hate crimes have taken a toll on Asian American homebuyers.

Only about 60.6% of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are homeowners, according to U.S. Census Bureau data used in a recent report from the Asian Real Estate Association of America. While that’s higher than other communities of color, it’s lower than the national homeownership rate of 65.6% in the first quarter of 2021. And it’s significantly lower than the white homeownership rate of 73.8%.

The report was put out by AREAA in a partnership with Re/Max and Freddie Mac.

“The challenges we face grew substantially throughout the pandemic, including job losses as well as an immense increase in hate crimes and subsequent housing discrimination that are forcing so many to stay in their current communities rather than move to new and unfamiliar places,” AREAA President Amy Kong said in a statement.

The lower homeownership rate was despite Asian Americans, not including Pacific Islanders, earning more money than the national average. American households of all descents earned a median $68,703 in 2019, according to the Census Bureau.

The problem is the community tends to live in more expensive areas on the coasts.

When they do buy homes, they often spend more as real estate is more expensive in these areas. The median home value for Asian Americans was $472,500—compared with a national median home list price of $380,000 in May, according to the most recent Realtor.com® data. It was lower for Pacific Islanders, with median values of $352,100. Pacific Islanders have lower median household incomes, of $66,464, and homeownership rates, of just 40.1%.

More than 2 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders were the victims of hate incidents since the beginning of the pandemic. The prejudice most commonly took the form of verbal harassment, but members of the community also reported being shunned, physically assaulted, coughed and spit on, and trolled online.

To put this into context, there are nearly 19.27 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the U.S., making up about 5.9% of the population.

“There’s the fear of moving to places that don’t have large Asian American communities because of the discrimination and the rise of anti-Asian sentiment,” says AREAA Executive Director Hope Atuel. “We’ve heard of people who have turned down job offers because of the fear. Fear can paralyze people.”

On top of everything else, language barriers in the buying process were an another obstacle that many members of this community faced. Many in the community don’t realize that they don’t need 20% down to purchase homes and there are other loan options available.

In addition, while many Asian Americans have good-paying jobs and savings, they may not have built up sufficient credit histories to help them qualify for the best mortgages.

While almost half of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community lives in the West, with almost a third in California, more are increasingly gravitating to the South. That’s likely because the weather is warmer and home prices and the cost of living tend to be lower than on the coasts. The South had the highest homeownership rate within the community of 65.4%. Georgia was particularly popular with buyers.

The community has been attracted to the high-skilled jobs that migrated to the region along with the lower taxes and cost of living.

“It’s more affordable to buy newer and larger homes in the Southeast,” says Atuel.

Only five real estate markets with large Asian American and Pacific Islander populations had homeownership rates that were higher than the national average. Riverside, CA, where the median home price in the metropolitan area was $519,900 in May, topped the list. About 71% of the Asian American population there were homeowners. Homeowners of Chinese descent had even higher homeownership rates of 78% there.

Rounding out the top five metros were Washington, DC, 69%; Miami, 69%; Houston, 69%; and Atlanta, 67%.

On the flip side, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders had some of the lowest homeownership rates in some of the coldest states of Illinois, Minnesota, Massachusetts, and New York.

The post Why Asian American Homeownership Is Lagging Behind appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Get a Grip with these Essential Kitchen Tongs

Let a good pair of kitchen tongs do the work for you.

Let a good pair of kitchen tongs do the work for you. (Unsplash/)

Whether you’re cooking in the kitchen or grilling in the yard, one constant is the heat of the food. Turning over steaks to cook evenly or picking up corn cobs from the grill, a good pair of tongs is an essential culinary tool to keep your recipe cooking properly and prevent mishaps like dropping food or incurring accidental burns.

Useful in the kitchen or the backyard grill, these are heat-resistant to 500 degrees.

Useful in the kitchen or the backyard grill, these are heat-resistant to 500 degrees. (ALLWIN-HOUSEWARE W/)

These Allwin Houseware cooking tongs offer the strength and long-lasting quality of stainless steel. They are also complemented with durable, flexible silicone tips to protect your cookware and grill grates. Hygienic silicone is BPA-free and provides excellent control of your food while offering important protection to your fingers. Non-stick, corrosion-resistant, and odor resistant, this two-piece set includes 9″ and 12″ tongs.

Buy: 2 Pack Black Kitchen Tongs

These lock in place for storage, or can be suspended by the large hanging loop for a decorative kitchen look.

These lock in place for storage, or can be suspended by the large hanging loop for a decorative kitchen look. (OXO/)

These OXO Good Grips tongs will remind you of traditional kitchen tongs, but better. They are made of brushed stainless steel for corrosion resistance and feature processed rubber in the handles for a firm grip, whether wet or dry. The non-slip handles also offer a comfortable thumb rest for an ergonomic feel. The cushioned grip adds comfort on long days of barbecuing. When all the cooking and feasting is over with, they are conveniently dishwasher safe.

Buy: OXO Good Grips 12-Inch Stainless-Steel Locking Tongs

The pull ring technology gives you better control and allows you to hang the set to air dry.

The pull ring technology gives you better control and allows you to hang the set to air dry. (Popco/)

The Popco Tongs are constructed of 304 heavy-duty stainless steel with a 1mm thickness for strength and control. The tips are BPA and PVC-free silicone for a soft surface and solid grip. Ergonomically designed for comfort, these come in three different sizes – 7, 9, and 12 inches – to work for a host of various purposes in the kitchen or at the bar. Non-stick and heat resistant to 480 degrees, this set is available in three different color options. We like the variety of bright colors that are sure to liven up your cooking area. You’ll feel like a professional – and look like one, too – when you use these chef-quality instruments.

Buy: The Original Popco Tongs

Restaurant quality, these are a great cooking tool to add to any kitchen arsenal.

Restaurant quality, these are a great cooking tool to add to any kitchen arsenal. (HOTEC/)

The Hotec Premium Stainless Steel Kitchen Tongs are engineered for quality and safety. The high-quality stainless steel is conveniently lightweight yet strong. These tongs have anti-rust, anti-corrosion qualities, coupled with silicone tips and inserts in the handle for comfort and a firm grip. Silicone is pliable yet extremely durable, which is why it is a popular choice for this kitchen tool. These premium tongs are packaged as a 2-piece set including two lengths of 9″ and 12.” Engineered for safety, the Hotec product also features pull ring technology, an upgraded design to stay steady, and protect your hands from cuts or burns.

Buy: HOTEC Premium Stainless Steel Locking Kitchen Tongs with Silicon Tips

The metal is heat resistant to 1500 degrees and the silicone up to 500 degrees, so these rugged tools can handle all the barbecues you host.

The metal is heat resistant to 1500 degrees and the silicone up to 500 degrees, so these rugged tools can handle all the barbecues you host. (ALLWIN-HOUSEWARE W/)

These tongs have a little bit of everything. The Allwin Houseware 304 stainless steel tongs are excellent for your kitchen but are made with the rigors of your grill or broiler in mind. They come in two lengths of 9″ and 12,” with a longer size designed to protect you from hot cooking areas. Silicone handles provide an ergonomic grip for the cook. They are non-stick, corrosion-resistant, and odor resistant, as well as dishwasher safe, and feature the popular pull ring technology for locking-in-place stability and hang-ability.

Buy: 304 Stainless Steel Kitchen Cooking Tongs

Best Planter Boxes for a Greener Garden

Organize your garden with the right planter boxes.

Organize your garden with the right planter boxes. (Unsplash/)

Whatever your motivation, planter boxes allow you to enjoy gardening, express your creativity, and enhance your space in a variety of ways. There are plenty of options and sizes available, and it can be overwhelming to know where to begin. To help you get started, we’ve selected our favorites and why they’d make fantastic additions to your kitchen, patio, studio, balcony, or other spaces.

The taller design relieves bending and strain on your back.

The taller design relieves bending and strain on your back. (Best Choice Products/)

This 5 cubic feet planter is made from durable Chinese fir wood that brings both functionality and elegance to your garden. Great for taller folks, the Best Choice Raised Garden Bed is 30″ tall and nearly 4′ wide so you won’t have to bend very far to do your gardening. The all-wood box is modern and timeless to blend with any décor. It also has a raised bed liner to separate the wood from the soil and prevent worries about pests or weeds. This planter box works for nearly any sized outdoor space or patio. Its water-resistant structure will ensure it not only lasts longer, but it also won’t rot your soil, an important element in allowing your plants to grow healthily.

Buy: Best Choice Products 48x24x30in Raised Garden Bed

Its drainage holes are pre-drilled, so you won’t waterlog your plants. Use it all year round, inside or out.

Its drainage holes are pre-drilled, so you won’t waterlog your plants. Use it all year round, inside or out. (FOYUEE/)

This ergonomic steel planter holds approximately 2.5 cubic feet of soil and can be used indoors or outdoors. Ideal for small spaces, the FOYUEE Planter Box on Wheels is made from anti-rusting galvanized steel that gives it a popular industrial look. You can move it with ease since it has wheels and a handle, as well as shelf holders to move and access your gardening accessories. During any season, this steel garden planter is functional and looks great.

Buy: FOYUEE Raised Planter Box

It's great for yards, community gardens, schools, and more. Its eco-friendly coating won’t contaminate the soil or plants.

It’s great for yards, community gardens, schools, and more. Its eco-friendly coating won’t contaminate the soil or plants. (FOYUEE /)

With a bottomless design, this metal planter provides good drainage and ample room to grow flowers, vegetables, herbs, and other plants. For those looking for a grounded garden planter to organize and contain their plants, the Galvanized Raised Garden Beds Planter Box just might be what you need. It’s very durable and easy to set up. Its bottomless design allows plants to sit on the ground while keeping weeds and pests at bay.

Buy: Galvanized Raised Garden Beds

It's ideal for those with back issues or anyone who doesn’t want the hassle of bending or sitting to tend their plants.

It’s ideal for those with back issues or anyone who doesn’t want the hassle of bending or sitting to tend their plants. (Outland Living/)

This 5-tiered garden comes with five containers made from food-grade plastic that are great for small space gardening. This trendy little garden setup is the perfect solution for those who have limited space but want to try their hand at or maintain their practice of, container gardening. You can grow a variety of plants in this planter, indoors and outdoors. It’s sturdy and easy to assemble. Its freestanding tiers stand at 4 ft tall and look amazing when full of your favorite herbs, flowers, vegetables, succulents, and more.

Buy: 4Ft Vertical Raised Garden Bed

You don’t even have to wonder whether you need to add water because it has a gauge that indicates when additional moisture is needed.

You don’t even have to wonder whether you need to add water because it has a gauge that indicates when additional moisture is needed. (Keter/)

Grow plants year-round with this self-watering planter. A wonderful tool for novice and serious gardeners alike, this self-watering garden box gives you a generous 31.7 gallons of capacity to grow any number of plants. It won’t rot or waterlog, as it’s designed with easy drainage. If you’re looking for versatility, you’ll get it with this planter. You can use it indoors and outdoors year-round. If you’re looking for style, the popular rattan pattern of this model goes great with many trends in patio furnishings.

Buy: Keter Easy Grow 31.7 Gallon Raised Garden Bed

Pending Home Sales Surge Higher, but Economists Warn That the Housing Market Could ‘Soon Hit Bottom’

MW-pending_home_sales_063021

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The numbers: More Americans signed on the dotted line to buy a home last month, but the factors that have tested the nation’s housing market are likely to eat into sales in the months to come.

Pending home sales rose 8% in May compared with April, the National Association of Realtors reported Wednesday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had projected a 1% decrease for pending home sales in May.

Compared with a year ago, pending home sales were up 13.1%, but at that time last year home sales activity had fallen amid the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“May’s strong increase in transactions—following April’s decline, as well as a sudden erosion in home affordability—was indeed a surprise,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors. “The housing market is attracting buyers due to the decline in mortgage rates, which fell below 3%, and from an uptick in listings.”

The pending home sales index reflects real-estate transactions where a contract was signed for a previously-owned home, but the sale had yet to close, benchmarked to contract-signing activity in 2001.

What happened: All regions saw an uptick in sales, led by a 15.5% surge in the Northeast. The South saw the smallest increase, with a 4.9% uptick.

The big picture: The uptick in pending sales could be sustained, Yun argued, because of the strong stock market and rising home prices. He predicted that more homes will be listed in the latter half of the year, which would help to slow the pace of home-price growth.

Still, economists generally anticipate that the second half of 2021 will see a slowdown in real-estate transactions. To get an idea of where home sales are headed, look no further than the data for mortgage applications.

“Sales lag mortgage applications, and the 26% plunge in the latter between December and April is now working its way through the sales numbers,” Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, wrote in a research note. He went on to argue that “sales will soon hit bottom, given the flattening in mortgage demand over the past couple months.”

The latest mortgage-applications data from the Mortgage Bankers Association would back up that prediction. The trade group’s index that measures the volume of applications for loans used to purchase homes was down 17% from a year ago as of the week ending June 25, and had declined 6% from the previous week.

The loan-application data also pointed to the challenges buyers are facing that are inhibiting sales from maintaining the breakneck pace of the past year. “The average loan size for total purchase applications increased, indicating that first-time homebuyers, who typically get smaller loans, are likely getting squeezed out of the market due to the lack of entry-level homes for sale,” Mike Fratantoni, chief economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association, said in the report.

The lack of housing inventory has limited how many sales can happen, while also driving up the price of homes. Now that mortgage rates are rising again, many home buyers could be pushed out of the market as purchasing a property becomes less and less affordable.

What they’re saying: “We believe existing home sales are going to see much harder year-over-year comparisons for the remainder of the year, as the base for comparison moves away from the slump generated in the early months of the pandemic and into the surge in home sales that followed,” said Ruben Gonzalez, chief economist for Keller Williams.

“With the pressure on sales from the lack of inventory and rapidly rising prices, we are likely going to see sales start moving toward single digit year-over-year growth and perhaps some year-over-year declines in Q4, due to last year’s divergence from normal seasonal patterns,” Gonzalez added.

“Although we are beginning to see an improvement in the supply of existing homes for sale and the cost of building materials moderate, which should lead to more new construction, a larger increase in supply is key to rebalancing the real-estate market,” said George Ratiu, senior economist at Realtor.com.

Market reaction: The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were both up slightly in Wednesday morning trading ahead of the report’s release.

The post Pending Home Sales Surge Higher, but Economists Warn That the Housing Market Could ‘Soon Hit Bottom’ appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Pending Home Sales Surge Higher, but Economists Warn That the Housing Market Could ‘Soon Hit Bottom’

MW-pending_home_sales_063021

Getty Images

The numbers: More Americans signed on the dotted line to buy a home last month, but the factors that have tested the nation’s housing market are likely to eat into sales in the months to come.

Pending home sales rose 8% in May compared with April, the National Association of Realtors reported Wednesday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had projected a 1% decrease for pending home sales in May.

Compared with a year ago, pending home sales were up 13.1%, but at that time last year home sales activity had fallen amid the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“May’s strong increase in transactions—following April’s decline, as well as a sudden erosion in home affordability—was indeed a surprise,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors. “The housing market is attracting buyers due to the decline in mortgage rates, which fell below 3%, and from an uptick in listings.”

The pending home sales index reflects real-estate transactions where a contract was signed for a previously-owned home, but the sale had yet to close, benchmarked to contract-signing activity in 2001.

What happened: All regions saw an uptick in sales, led by a 15.5% surge in the Northeast. The South saw the smallest increase, with a 4.9% uptick.

The big picture: The uptick in pending sales could be sustained, Yun argued, because of the strong stock market and rising home prices. He predicted that more homes will be listed in the latter half of the year, which would help to slow the pace of home-price growth.

Still, economists generally anticipate that the second half of 2021 will see a slowdown in real-estate transactions. To get an idea of where home sales are headed, look no further than the data for mortgage applications.

“Sales lag mortgage applications, and the 26% plunge in the latter between December and April is now working its way through the sales numbers,” Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, wrote in a research note. He went on to argue that “sales will soon hit bottom, given the flattening in mortgage demand over the past couple months.”

The latest mortgage-applications data from the Mortgage Bankers Association would back up that prediction. The trade group’s index that measures the volume of applications for loans used to purchase homes was down 17% from a year ago as of the week ending June 25, and had declined 6% from the previous week.

The loan-application data also pointed to the challenges buyers are facing that are inhibiting sales from maintaining the breakneck pace of the past year. “The average loan size for total purchase applications increased, indicating that first-time homebuyers, who typically get smaller loans, are likely getting squeezed out of the market due to the lack of entry-level homes for sale,” Mike Fratantoni, chief economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association, said in the report.

The lack of housing inventory has limited how many sales can happen, while also driving up the price of homes. Now that mortgage rates are rising again, many home buyers could be pushed out of the market as purchasing a property becomes less and less affordable.

What they’re saying: “We believe existing home sales are going to see much harder year-over-year comparisons for the remainder of the year, as the base for comparison moves away from the slump generated in the early months of the pandemic and into the surge in home sales that followed,” said Ruben Gonzalez, chief economist for Keller Williams.

“With the pressure on sales from the lack of inventory and rapidly rising prices, we are likely going to see sales start moving toward single digit year-over-year growth and perhaps some year-over-year declines in Q4, due to last year’s divergence from normal seasonal patterns,” Gonzalez added.

“Although we are beginning to see an improvement in the supply of existing homes for sale and the cost of building materials moderate, which should lead to more new construction, a larger increase in supply is key to rebalancing the real-estate market,” said George Ratiu, senior economist at Realtor.com.

Market reaction: The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were both up slightly in Wednesday morning trading ahead of the report’s release.

The post Pending Home Sales Surge Higher, but Economists Warn That the Housing Market Could ‘Soon Hit Bottom’ appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Best Tea Tree Oil Products

A little dab of tea tree oil can work wonders.

A little dab of tea tree oil can work wonders. (Pexels/)

Touted for its cleansing, anti-fungal, and healing attributes, tea tree oil – or Melaleuca alternifolia – makes a fantastic addition to both your medicine cabinet and your cleaning supplies closet. With an invigorating and fresh, camphor-like scent and antiseptic properties, tea tree oil is also used as a fragrance in linen sprays and laundry soaps.

Blend with herbal and forest fragrances for a personalized essential oil for your diffuser.

Blend with herbal and forest fragrances for a personalized essential oil for your diffuser. (Handcraft Blends/)

Each premium tea tree oil is independently tested for purity and quality. For generations, Australian aboriginals used the waxy oil from the indigenous shrubby tree in their medicines and salves. They put it on burns and skin irritations and inhaled the smoke from singeing the leaves to help soothe coughs. This four-ounce amber bottle keeps damaging sunlight out, and the glass dropper makes it easy to add just the right amount of tea tree oil to your mixture.

Buy: Handcraft Tea Tree Essential Oil

If you enjoy crafting bath bombs, salt scrubs, and skin treatments, incorporate this into your repertoire.

If you enjoy crafting bath bombs, salt scrubs, and skin treatments, incorporate this into your repertoire. (Ola Prima/)

This large 16-ounce bottle allows you to mix tea tree oil into your products and cosmetics. Adding tea tree oil to soaps, shampoos, and lotions not only imparts antibiotic, but also antifungal, qualities. It’s actually used as a treatment for dandruff and athlete’s foot. This pure tea tree essential oil has a zesty aroma.

Buy: Ola Prima 16oz – Premium Quality Tea Tree Essential Oil

No carrier oils and no chemicals cloud the fragrance of this product.

No carrier oils and no chemicals cloud the fragrance of this product. (Artizen /)

The attractive green glass bottle protects the tea tree oil from harmful UV light. This powerful antioxidant oil gives an energizing boost to your aromatherapy selections. Some people use tea tree oil as a natural deodorant, applying a couple of drops to each underarm. Apply some to your wool dryer balls and add a fresh fragrance to your clothes and linens. The one-ounce bottle holds the most concentrated, therapeutic-grade oil and is ready for all your skin therapy needs.

Buy: Artizen Tea Tree Essential Oil

Steam distilled at the source, this pure oil soothes skin irritations including acne, burns, and insect bites.

Steam distilled at the source, this pure oil soothes skin irritations including acne, burns, and insect bites. (Gya Labs/)

Not only does tea tree oil add a bright fragrance to your shampoo, it also stimulates blood flow to your scalp. Put a few drops in your lotion to nourish deep into the layers of skin – like peppermint oil. Regular applications of essential tea tree oil cleanse and brighten skin tone. Why use man-made products when you can use a versatile natural oil instead? Use it in your diffuser to freshen and purify stale air in your closets, RVs, campers, or dorm.

Buy: Gya Labs Tea Tree Essential Oil for Skin Care and Hair Care

Best Laundry Detergent Pods

It looks futuristic, but using a detergent pod will make washing your clothes an easier task.

It looks futuristic, but using a detergent pod will make washing your clothes an easier task. (Unsplash/)

They’re easier to manage than pouring huge containers of liquid or powder detergent. And they’re lightweight. Just pop them into the bottom of your washing machine and put your clothes on top. Placing the pods on the bottom allows for maximum contact with the water to dissolve the pod into your load. Laundry pods provide a quick and easy way to use the optimal amount of detergent each and every wash. Here are our favorite ones.

They'll dissolve in hot or cold water, so you can use them when washing whites or colors alike.

They’ll dissolve in hot or cold water, so you can use them when washing whites or colors alike. (Tide/)

Tide boasts that their 3-in-1 detergent pods combine 90 percent active ingredients and 10 times the cleaning power of other liquid brands into each pod. The detergent and stain removers also include a color protector to help you achieve noticeably clean and bright results. The super-concentrated detergent includes extra odor fighters and a fresh scent to keep your clothes smelling great. Quick-collapsing suds are powerful without producing excess suds.

Buy: Tide Pods 3 in 1, Laundry Detergent Pacs

Add an extra pod for a large load and two extra pods for an extra-large load for best results.

Add an extra pod for a large load and two extra pods for an extra-large load for best results. (Tide/)

Tide’s Free and Gentle Laundry Pods are hypoallergenic and a good solution when laundering clothes for anyone with sensitive skin. These pods are free of dyes and perfumes but maintain their cleaning power. Their “3 in 1 technology” gives you a combination of detergent, stain remover, and color protector all together for each load. This product has been tested by dermatologists and formulated especially for sensitive skin.

Buy: Tide PODS Free and Gentle

This version delivers 50 percent more scent than regular detergents, to give you that clean smell up to six weeks after washing.

This version delivers 50 percent more scent than regular detergents, to give you that clean smell up to six weeks after washing. (Gain/)

Gain Flings laundry detergent pacs combine the cleaning power of Gain detergent, the stain-fighting punch of Oxi Clean, and the fresh smell of Febreze all in one pod. We appreciate having the stain-fighting power of Oxi in our washing machine, especially if you’re doing laundry for a family. Infants, toddlers, kids in little league, or teens playing football are all good laundry candidates for this product. The pods dissolve in either hot or cold water to work with your different laundry settings.

Buy: Gain flings! Laundry Detergent Soap Pacs

These dissolve in hot or cold water and are safe for septic systems, plus they contain no phosphates.

These dissolve in hot or cold water and are safe for septic systems, plus they contain no phosphates. (Solimo/)

Amazon’s Solimo Laundry Detergent Pacs may be the best value of all of our top picks. You get the premeasured convenience of a detergent pac safe for standard and high-efficiency washing machines. Powerful stain fighters are included to achieve whiter whites and bright colors in your wash. A great value with 120 of these pacs, you’ll have enough pods for 120 medium-sized loads.

Buy: Amazon Brand – Solimo Laundry Detergent Pacs

Fast-dissolving microcrystals feature 99 percent active ingredients.

Fast-dissolving microcrystals feature 99 percent active ingredients. (Arm & Hammer/)

Arm & Hammer 4-in-1 pods contain powerful components to keep your laundry naturally clean and fresh. The specially formulated pods are infused with the freshness and deodorizing power of pure Arm & Hammer Baking Soda. They work in all machines and all temperatures. The purity and functionality of baking soda has long been recognized. It’s a natural deodorizer and cleanser and cleans clothes gently while removing tough smells and stains. It also softens clothes and boosts your detergent’s power. Use one pod for small and medium loads, and add a second for larger loads.

Buy: Arm & Hammer 4-in-1 Laundry Detergent Power Paks

These Essential Hair Dryers Really Shine

These hair dryer picks will blow you away.

These hair dryer picks will blow you away. (Pixabay/)

Hair dryers have come a long way since “Steel Magnolias.” You no longer have to style and then sit under the big head-covering dryer that looked like something from a B-rate science fiction movie. Or take Thursday night off so you can stay home for the evening to wash your hair and let it air dry, like mom or grandma did.

With 1100 watts, there are two heat and style settings for all hair types.

With 1100 watts, there are two heat and style settings for all hair types. (REVLON/)

Save minutes in the morning by drying and styling in one simple step. Facing the daily frizz fight? Maybe it’s time for a new morning ritual. The flexible bristles of the brush won’t tangle in your hair. They actually improve the look of your hair giving it smoothness, and giving you a new weapon against frizz. Plus, this dryer and styler gets you ready for work in half the time! Now that’s something to cheer about. Maybe you can sleep in just a little longer by adding this appliance to your morning routine. If you’ve got a girl in your life, this is the one-step styler for you.

Buy: REVLON One-Step Hair Dryer & Styler, Black

We love the ergonomic handle, especially comfortable when you’ve flipped your head upside down to give those roots some extra volume.

We love the ergonomic handle, especially comfortable when you’ve flipped your head upside down to give those roots some extra volume. (BaBylissPRO/)

With a bunch of heat and power settings and a concentrator nozzle, you can create the styles right out of the magazines. Activate ion power for 2000 watts of fast-drying air. Ion power means this hair dryer uses negative ions to break water’s positively charged ions. This allows your hair to not just dry faster, but it keeps water from getting into your hair for less frizz. If you’ve got lots of coarse hair or thick hair, this Nano Titanium hair dryer is up to the up-do.

Buy: BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium Hair Dryer

When you grab the soft-feel handle, you’ll feel the power of this pro-level model.

When you grab the soft-feel handle, you’ll feel the power of this pro-level model. (TREZORO/)

This is a tourmaline hair dryer. What does that mean? A coating of the semi-precious stone, tourmaline, emits negative ions to smooth and help seal in moisture. This helps combat flyaway hair and gives body to fine hair. With 2200 watts of power, it gives you consistent and powerful airflow for speedy styling. The two concentrators allow you to really take control of thick, coarse, and curly hairstyles. The air filter at the back snaps off so you can clean it, and keep the airflow unobstructed.

Buy: Professional Ionic Salon Hair Dryer

Use the diffuser to add volume to roots and tousled styles, or use the concentrator for lift.

Use the diffuser to add volume to roots and tousled styles, or use the concentrator for lift. (Remington/)

Their patented Micro-Conditioner Technology works to increase the look and feel of your hair. Not just a purple ceramic hair dryer that uses gentle infra-red heat. Not just an ionic dryer for smooth hair, this damage-protecting dryer also incorporates tourmaline technologies for triple hair protection. Dry your hair quickly with 1875 watts. Get your ideal style with two speeds and three heat settings, then set it with a quick cool shot. With all the different things you can do, this hair dryer is a fantastic value.

Buy: Remington D3190 Damage Protection Hair Dryer

Once you’ve got your style, lock it in with a quick cool air shot.

Once you’ve got your style, lock it in with a quick cool air shot. (Conair/)

This Conair hair dryer brings out the natural shine in your hair. Ever since the 1950s, Conair has been crafting hair products. In this full-size hair dryer, they’ve combined both tourmaline and ceramic technology, giving off negative ions and gentle infrared heat to care for your hair. If you use a hair dryer after every shampoo, you’ll welcome the care put into this conditioning dryer. Plus, with the removable filter, it is simple to clean out the lint and keep the motor happy.

Buy: Conair 1875 Watt Full Size Pro Hair Dryer

Tune Into These Great CD Players

Take the CDs out of the closet and dust them off. Here are the CD players we recommend.

Take the CDs out of the closet and dust them off. Here are the CD players we recommend. ( Pixabay/)

Music lovers alike agree that musicality is maximized on compact discs. Fortunately, it’s still possible to get your hands on a high-quality CD player. We’ve looked at a wide range of CD players and analyzed features such as sound quality, Bluetooth connection, and much more. Read on to find out which made our recommended list.

Standing only 4.5-inches tall, it has a big sound in a small package with a little footprint.

Standing only 4.5-inches tall, it has a big sound in a small package with a little footprint. (Bose/)

Fill the room with life-like sound thanks to this music system’s waveguide technology. The Bose Wave Music System is a combination CD/MP3 CD player and an advanced AM/FM music system. It comes to you in a sleek, modern device that looks great in a room. The waveguide speaker technology brings together advanced digital electronics to provide you with top-quality audio performance. There’s a convenient remote control that lets you easily manage volume, station selection, clock settings, and more.

Buy: Bose Wave Music System IV – Espresso Black

The battery power lasts up to 19 hours so you can listen to a long list of favorites, oldies or current, without needing an AC connection.

The battery power lasts up to 19 hours so you can listen to a long list of favorites, oldies or current, without needing an AC connection. (Sony/)

A retro boombox look that comes packed with powerful sound capabilities. This compact CD and cassette combination player features the unique boombox style that takes you back and brings retro vibes right into your home. You can enjoy CDs, AM/FM radio, and cassette tapes and experience the finest in sound quality. The Mega Bass boost circuitry delivers enhanced low-frequency bass performance. Who says Boomboxes are a thing of the past?

Buy: Sony CFDS70-BLK CD/MP3 Cassette Boombox Home Audio Radio, Black, With Aux

The player features thumping bass that pulsates to the music to pump up the party.

The player features thumping bass that pulsates to the music to pump up the party. (Magnavox/)

Bluetooth connection lets you play your music in the kitchen, in the office, in the bedroom, or virtually anywhere. Versatility is here. This Magnavox top-loading CD player can connect to nearly any audio device thanks to its 3.5mm Aux-In port, the headphone jack, or via Bluetooth. It has attractive color-changing lights to enhance the party experience for you and your friends. The bright LCD display comes with a blue backlight to give you a clear reading of what’s playing.

Buy: Magnavox MD6972 Portable Top Loading CD Boombox with Digital AM/FM Stereo Radio

Consider giving this option as a gift for those audiophile in your life.

Consider giving this option as a gift for those audiophile in your life. (TENSWALL/)

A CD player on the wall? Who knew that could look as great as this one does? This portable, wall-mountable CD player can transform any room into a party zone. The device supports music via CD, Bluetooth, Aux-In, USC, and more. You can control it via the wireless app so you never have to hunt down the remote to manage the music. You can mount this bright white CD player on the wall and allow it to enhance the décor of any room, but you don’t have to. Its built-in HiFi microchip and two superior performance speakers bring you smooth and natural sound. Play your favorite CDs or just listen to the radio. This player comes with a USB adaptor, remote control, wall-mounting kit and plate, desk stand, audio jack cable, and user manual.

Buy: Portable CD Player with Bluetooth

The top-loading model is compatible with MP3, CD, CD-R, and CD-RW, so you can listen to music in a whole variety of ways.

The top-loading model is compatible with MP3, CD, CD-R, and CD-RW, so you can listen to music in a whole variety of ways. (LONPOO/)

This attractive Boombox style CD player does a lot in a little device. You can also play music wirelessly since it has Bluetooth capabilities as well. The compact and portable style of this CD player makes it easy to take with you on the go. Just grab the handle, and head off to the beach or park or your friend’s backyard barbecue. The bright LCD display and pronounced buttons allow you to manage music with ease. Or use your headphones to listen to all your favorites in privacy and with the great quality of CD sound.

Buy: LONPOO CD Player Portable Boombox with FM Radio/USB/Bluetooth/AUX Input