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2014 Guide to Well-Being A Guide to Enhancing Your Overall Well-Being in the New Year



Wise January 2014 A special supplement to

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Simple ways to make resolutions stick this time A new year often begins with good intentions, as thousands resolve to make positive changes in their lives. Resolutions are easy to make when one is toasting at midnight and ready to take on the world. But resolutions can be harder to keep as the days turn into weeks and weeks become months. Researchers at the University of Minnesota found that 80 percent of resolution-makers have given up by Valentine’s Day. A January 2012 poll conducted in England found that, of the 3,000 respondents, roughly threequarters of them admitted they were no longer confident they would stick to their resolutionss for the rest of the month. There are several different reasons why resolutions fail, and recognizing potential pitfalls can help people stick with their positive changes throughout the new year. The following are a few ways to ensure your resolutions last the year. * Don’t make an unrealistic resolution. Losing weight is a popular resolution. Some resolve to drop dozens of pounds in an effort to completely transform their bodies. However, when the weight doesn’t magically come off, it can be easy to grow discouraged. Weight loss is not instantaneous, and healthy weight-loss plans advocate gradual weight loss, such as 1 to 2 pounds per week. It can take several months to see a considerable difference if you’re aiming to lose 50 pounds. Instead of setting such a lofty weight-loss goal, establish incremental milestones with tangible dates. For example, your resolution may be to lose 10 pounds by March 1st. That is an attainable goal. * Don’t go it alone. You’re more likely to have success with keeping a resolution if you have outside support. Enlist

a buddy to go to the gym with you or provide support as you attempt to quit smoking. Having a support system in place can motivate and inspire, knowing someone will be keeping tabs on you may instill enough anxiety to propel you through your resolutions. * Make resolutions for the right reasons. Making resolutions for the wrong reasons can be counterproductive. If you want to lose weight for cosmetic reasons and not to improve your overall health, you may find your motivation

waning as the weeks turn into months. Making resolutions for the right reasons often provides ample motivation. * Avoid boring resolutions. Many people make boring resolutions that often focus on the mundane instead of more positive things. Resolutions need not be changes that profoundly alter your mental or physical well-being. Making fun resolutions will probably help you stick to them. Perhaps you will resolve to spend more time with the kids or promise to try more adventurous activities. Maybe you decide it’s time pursue a hidden passion, such as music or art. Enjoyable resolutions are much easier to keep. * Avoid expensive resolutions. Before making a resolution, research how much a resolution might cost. Gym memberships or new hobbies may stretch your budget, and if you cannot afford a resolution, how can you keep it? If money is a concern, choose resolutions that are fiscally possible. * Keep resolutions private if you so prefer. Many people are compelled to share their resolutions with friends and family. However, that can lead to feelings of competition or animosity if someone is realizing goals before you. Feel free to keep your resolution private as you go through the process. Once you have met your goal, then you can share your success with others. * Don’t give up too easily. Some people are up for a challenge and others are not. Resolutions typically require a little extra effort, especially in the early stages. Resolutions will not necessarily be easy to keep, but the longer you stick to a resolution the easier it becomes to make it a reality, so resist the temptation to throw in the towel too early.

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WHAT’S YOUR RESOLUTION? The presents are all opened, the decorations have been taken down and now the bills are starting to come in. The holidays can be a wonderful time with family and friends spent celebrating and usually, spending. If your holiday bills are piling up, Florida Credit Union can help. Many people make resolutions each New Year to get healthy, but how about a financial health resolution for 2014? FCU specializes in helping members save money and get out of debt. Imagine how good it would feel to pay off those bills once and for all! A Financial Freedom loan from FCU can help make that happen. Or maybe you have to scrape up money each year for gifts, but would like to have a better plan for next year. A Holiday Club Account will help you save all year long. The money is automatically transferred to your FCU checking account in November to make shopping a breeze! If you’re looking to improve your credit score, call or stop by any FCU branch for a free credit report analysis. A member service specialist will go over your report and score, and give you tips on how to improve your score and save money each month. Also, with FCU’s Online Banking, you can use the budgeting

tool to see where your money is being spent and set savings goals. Plus, with the bill payer tab, you can make all of your electronic payments in one convenient place. The hardest part of making a New Year’s Resolution is keeping it going all year long. It’s easy to start out strong in the beginning, but then lose motivation and slow down (not unlike those visits to the gym)! Visit the FCU blog at for financial tips and ways to help you stay on track all year long. FCU is a full-service financial institution offering banking products for consumers and businesses. In addition to traditional loans and deposit accounts, we offer 24/7 loan approval services by phone, online loan applications, and life insurance products. Florida Credit Union Services are available to all who work or reside in Alachua, Bradford, Citrus, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Flagler, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hernando, Lake, Levy, Marion, Putnam, St. Johns, Sumter, Suwannee, Union and Volusia Counties. Whatever your financial resolution, Florida Credit Union can help you keep it! FCU was chartered for the sole purpose of helping our members save money – let us show you how.

Florida Credit Union 352-377-4141

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Personalized care teams to address physical, emotional and financial needs. Clinical outcomes that are the best or among the best in virtually every category. Treatment options to suit any lifestyle.

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KIDNEY SMARTSM The Kidney SmartSM Education Program is a comprehensive guide to chronic kidney disease. The program was produced by a multi-disciplinary team of healthcare providers and health education professionals who are teammates of DaVita, Inc. When people find out they need dialysis, they may not be aware that several types of dialysis are available to fit their health and lifestyle needs. If you just found out you need dialysis to treat kidney failure, or if you are on dialysis and would like to explore other modality options, learn more about the dialysis modalities and

what each one may offer When you come to a class, you. you’ll be greeted by your Kidney SmartSM offers hope educator who is a dialysis and information to patients nurse, social worker or diagnosed with CKD to renal dietitian. You and your keep them feeling vital and guest will join the class on a course to wellbeing. (class size ranges from Courses are offered to 5-15 people) for about one help empower people to two hours of education with CKD to learn all they plus time for questions and can about staying healthy answers. You will receive and taking control of their kidney education materials kidney disease. A dialysis to bring home, including a healthcare professional will Health Diary to help you set teach you about your stage goals, keep appointments, of CKD, how to prolong organize lab values and take kidney function, how to medications. take control of your health through medications and diet and how to improve your quality of life.

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Emphasize oral hygiene in the year ahead Of all the plans people make at the dawn of a new year, getting healthier is often at the top of the list. Although many individuals are concerned about shedding a few pound, there are many other ways to focus on health in the upcoming months, including paying more attention to dental hygiene. Proper dental care can not only keep a smile bright, it can affect other areas of the body. Fluoride Benefits One of the keys to oral health is the use of fluoride to prevent dental caries. In fact, many health professionals will say that exposure to fluoride, whether through use of toothpaste or fluoridated water supplies, is probably the most effective cavity-prevention treatment available. Fluoride helps the teeth in a number of ways. Fluoride can promote tooth remineralization. This means it attracts other minerals, particularly calcium, to the areas of the teeth where

tooth decay can form, helping to strengthen teeth. Fluoride also helps to make teeth more resistant to decay. New tooth mineral created when fluoride is present helps to make teeth harder, making it more difficult for acids and bacteria to penetrate the enamel of the teeth and cause damage.

may include prescription fluoride applied directly to the teeth at home or procedures where dentists apply the fluoride in their offices. Recent clinical recommendations from a multidisciplinary expert panel convened by the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs suggest that topical fluoride, used in conjunction with drinking optimally fluoridated water and using toothpaste with fluoride, can prevent tooth decay. These clinical recommendations cover professionally applied and prescription-strength, home-use topical fluoride agents for cavity prevention.

Another advantage is that fluoride helps to inhibit acid creation. Dental researchers have found that fluoride can inhibit bacteria living in the mouth. That’s an important finding, as such bacteria can contribute to the formation of damage-causing acids that are notorious for wearing down tooth enamel, causing spots for The panel concluded that additional research is more bacteria to congregate and form cavities. needed, but recommended the following products for patients at elevated risk of developing According to the American Dental Association, cavities. individuals who find themselves prone to cavities or whose dentists have deemed them at el- * Professionally-applied 2.26 percent fluoride evated risk for developing cavities may benefit varnish or a 1.23 percent fluoride gel every 3-6 from fluoride application beyond the norm. This months. continued on page 5



PHARMACY TECHNICIAN TRAINING Pharmacy technicians are an essential part of the healthcare field and work in a wide variety of locations including retail/ hospital pharmacies, insurance companies and long term care facilities. As a pharmacy technician, you will assist the pharmacist in dispensing medications, keeping inventory and tracking orders, counseling patients on drug usage and many other administrative tasks that make you an indispensable member of the support staff. There are two ways

to participate in our Pharmacy Technician Training Course: • An online program you can access from almost anywhere • Live programs in several cities throughout Florida Either course you choose, you get the same high quality instruction and attention from your instructor. Both courses are approved by the Florida Board of Pharmacy and both courses will provide you with a Certificate of Completion upon

a passing grade. Additionally, the online course has been approved by the Virginia Board of Pharmacy. Both the online and live courses will help you prepare to pass either of the two National Certifying Exams, the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) Exam or the ExCPT Exam. Call an enrollment specialist and start your new career today! 1-888-511-8604 or for more information visit

University of Florida Pharmacy Division of Continuing Pharmacy 1-888-511-8604 •

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* Home-use prescription-strength 0.5 percent mation from Harvard Medical School, several plaque can lead to heart attack. fluoride gel or paste or 0.09 percent fluoride species of bacteria that cause periodontitis mouth rinse (for patients six years old or older). have been found in the atherosclerotic plaque Although research is ongoing, there is reason in arteries in the heart and elsewhere. This to believe that oral bacteria could also harm * A 2.26 percent professionally-apblood vessels or cause blood clots by plied fluoride varnish every three to six releasing toxins that resemble proteins months for children younger than six found in artery walls or the bloodstream. years old. When the body’s immune system responds to these toxins, blood clots may Application of additional fluoride should form more easily. Some evidence also not replace daily oral hygiene habits. It points to a correlation between inflamis still vital to brush twice a day, floss mation in the mouth and inflammation daily, eat a balanced diet, and visit the in the body. dentist regularly for checkups. Heart Disease and Oral Health The millions of bacteria that proliferate inside of the mouth and contribute to dental caries also can affect other areas of the body. Evidence suggests the same bacteria that can cause plaque and gum disease may lead to cardiovascular problems. According to infor-

With the new year upon us, now may be the ideal time for men and women to take inventory of their personal health. Schedule a physical examination with a doctor, visit an optometrist or opthalmologist for an eye exam and remember to visit the dentist for a cleaning, checkup and a possible fluoride treatment to protect the mouth and body.

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How to prepare for tax time Although some are ready to say their fond farewells to 2013, thought needs to be given to the 12 months that just passed as tax-filing season approaches.

improvements, medical expenses, charitable donations and childcare costs. Store receipts and other documentation, including canceled checks, with the other tax documents. These Tax season is a few months away, but will come in handy should an audit ever it’s never too soon to begin preparations be ordered. for filing income taxes. Some people prefer to toast the new year and then * Create a spreadsheet of important inarrange appointments with their ac- formation. It is handy to have all financountants, while others use the new year as an opportunity to get organized and start compiling paperwork and tax questions. Preparing for tax time at the dawn of a new year can make the process go more smoothly in the months ahead. Here are some tips on how to prepare for the upcoming tax season. * Start a documents folder. Employers, charitable organizations, banks and other financial institutions begin mailing out tax forms from the previous year in early January. Individuals should keep their eyes open for any mail that appears to be tax-related. Store these documents in a folder that can protect any sensitive information. Such folders also make information more accessible as more and more documents arrive in the mail.

Tax preparation software is available for those who choose to file their taxes themselves. There also are walk-in centers that will prepare tax-filing documents. Individuals also can visit a certified public accountant. Whatever method taxpayers choose, allow for ample time to gather information and get the taxes filed by the deadline. Leave some wiggle room in case one filing method doesn’t work out. * Start saving money. Although the goal is to get a refund each and every year, taxpayers sometimes owe money, which can be troublesome for men and women whose budgets are stretched thin already. Those who owed money in the past should begin saving money for tax expenses as early as possible. * Develop a good filing system. Many financial professionals will advise people to keep financial records for 7 years. Any tax documents should be kept together should they need to be referenced or if an audit is ordered. Designate a filing cabinet or a box specifically for tax documents.

cial information at the ready. Some accountants will lower their fees if people do some of the filing preparation work themselves. This can include creating a profit/loss statement on investments, or working up a tally of charitable donations. Make an itemized list of all perTax filing season is right around the tinent information so it will be handy corner, and the dawn of a new year is a * Begin collecting receipts and itemwhen tax-filing time arrives. great time for men and women to start izing expenses. Many expenses are tax-deductible. These can include edu- * Decide on a filing option. Technol- gathering documents and preparing cation costs, moving expenses, home ogy has made filing taxes much easier. their returns.



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Live Healthy. Age Healthy. Dr. Boggs employs a broad range of tools to address imbalances that, if they haven’t already, could result in frank illness. His caring approach combines conventional, complementary, and traditional medicine techniques—whatever best fits your needs and beliefs.

• Internal Medicine • Integrative/Holistic Medicine • Functional Medicine • Age Management • Hormone Replacement • Acupuncture • And much more...

Dr. Will Boggs Be healthy starting now. Call today for an appointment. 352-682--2098 • NO INSURANCE AND NO MEDICARE ACCEPTED


Another Way of Looking at Your Health What does it mean to be healthy? How do you get there? Ask a dozen friends, and you’ll get a dozen different answers. And that’s why your doctor shouldn’t have just one answer, either. Complete health means being well, happy, and at peace. Most physicians aim to achieve the first goal, physical wellness, and to do so they use the 2 main tools of modern, conventional medicine: drugs and surgery. There’s still little in the way of prevention. Conventional medicine is great, as far as it goes. But when it comes to managing persistent pain, heart disease, high blood pressure, fatigue,

depression, and any number of chronic medical problems, these approaches often fall short.

Supplements and hormone replacement can help restore your lost balance. Why not explore all your options?

Complementary medical techniques—from acupuncture and age management to functional medicine to yoga therapy— offer relief when drugs fail or don’t go far enough. And other medical traditions, from India (Ayurveda) or China (Traditional Chinese Medicine), focus on preventing you from getting ill in the first place. Nutrition and exercise can improve your health, lengthen your life, help you manage your stress, and even reduce your need for medications.

Happiness and a sense of peace may accompany physical wellness, but they can also be realized in spite of pain or illness or a stressful life. Creative visualization, guided imagery, and various meditative and spiritual practices can get you there. There’s every reason for you to live a better, fuller life. An integrative and holistic medical practice employs all these tools and more. Let’s talk about what it means for you to be healthy, and together we can get you there.

William M. Boggs, M.D.

1705 NW 6th Street, Gainesville, FL 32609 (352) 682-2098

Exercise benefits the brain, too Regular exercise can benefit the body in many ways, helping men and women maintain healthier weights and lower their risks for developing potentially deadly diseases. Though many people are quick to associate exercise with its physical benefits, those hours spent on the treadmill also can boost brain power.

accompanied by several cognitive benefits as py, or a placebo pill. Those in the exercise and well. antidepressant groups had higher rates of remission than those in the placebo group, and As the American Psychological Association Blumenthal concluded that exercise was genacknowledges, the connection between exer- erally comparable to antidepressants for men cise and mental health is hard to ignore, and and women with major depressive disorder. In the APA notes that the following are just a few addition, in following up with patients a year of the mental benefits men and women might later, Blumenthal found that those who continAccording to Dr. Barry Gordon, professor of reap from regular exercise. ued to exercise had lower depression scores neurology and cognitive science at Johns than those participants who were less active. Improved Mood Hopkins Medical Institutions and coauthor of “Intelligent Memory: Improve the Memory Many people feel great after exercising, es- Blumenthal’s study was not the only one to That Makes You Smarter,” exercise has a di- pecially if that exercise comes at the end of conclude that exercise can have a positive imrect impact on the brain. That’s because exer- a particularly stressful day. However, those pact on mood. In a review of 11 studies that cise works directly on brain tissue, improving extra laps on the track or those hours spent examined the effects of exercise on mental the connections between nerve cells, creat- on the treadmill don’t just pay short-term divi- health, Boston University professor of psycholing new synapses, growing new neurons and dends. In a controlled trial overseen by Duke ogy Michael Otto and his colleagues found blood vessels, and improving cell energy ef- University researcher and clinical psycholo- that exercise could be a powerful tool when ficiency. So while many people may begin an gist James Blumenthal, sedentary adults with treating clinical depression, and even recomexercise regimen with a goal of trimming their major depressive disorder were assigned mended clinicians include exercise as part of waistlines or toning their bodies, they might be into one of four groups: supervised exercise, their treatment plans for depressed patients. happy to know that those physical benefits are home-based exercise, antidepressant theracontinued on page 5



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HEALTHY START OF NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA Every baby deserves a healthy start

Having a baby can be the most joyous—and most stressful—time of your life. Starting with pregnancy, and moving into the young toddler years, your body, moods and day-to-day life can undergo some major changes. This is added to caring for a child (or children) 24/7. Could there be a more pressure-filled job? The good news is you don’t have to do it alone. To help families get off to the best possible start, Healthy Start of North Central Florida provides free services to pregnant women and infants up to age three. Ask your nurse, doctor or midwife for the Healthy Start screen, which is a simple set of questions, to see if you can

benefit from Healthy Start services. Healthy Start of North Central Florida is a local nonprofit that provides education and support services in childbirth, breastfeeding, parenting, tobacco cessation and women’s health. The program also assists women and their families with care coordination and informs them about other available services. Healthy Start can help you to prepare for labor and delivery, care for a newborn, quit smoking, gain breastfeeding know-how, plan future pregnancies and learn about the developmental stages of your baby and toddler. While all healthcare providers in Florida are required to offer

new and expecting mothers the Healthy Start screen, sometimes these forms get overlooked. So be sure to ask your healthcare provider about Healthy Start. “Our goal for moms and babies is to have the best birth outcomes and healthy child development,” said Julie Moderie, the director of the program. Last year alone, almost 8,000 women were screened by Healthy Start of North Central Florida, and of those screened, more than 6,000 received services. Healthy Start of North Central Florida can be the first step for a healthy birth and beyond. For more information, visit www.

Healthy Start of North Central Florida

1785 NW 80th Blvd., Gainesville, FL 32606 (352) 313-6500 • An Affiliate Partner of WellFlorida Council

Antidote To Anxiety Some researchers, Otto included, have begun to examine the effects of exercise on treating and possibly preventing anxiety. The body’s nervous system responds quickly when people feel frightened or threatened, often causing the body’s heart rate to increase and sweating and dizziness to occur. Those people who are especially sensitive to anxiety respond to these feelings with fear, and that makes them more likely to develop panic disorders. But Otto and fellow researcher Jasper Smits of the Anxiety Research and Treatment Program at Southern Methodist University studied the effects that regular workouts might have on people prone to anxiety. Since exercise produces many of the same physical reactions, such as sweating and an elevated heart rate, the body produces when responding to fear or threats, Otto and Smits wanted to determine if exercise might help people prone to anxiety

become less likely to panic when experiencing fear or threats. In studying 60 participants with heightened sensitivity to anxiety, Otto and Smits found that the subjects who participated in a two-week exercise program exhibited marked improvements in anxiety sensitivity compared to those participants who did not take part in the exercise program. Otto and Smith concluded that this improvement was a result of the exercise group participants learning to associate the symptoms common to both fear and exercise, such as sweating and an elevated heart rate, with something positive (exercise) instead of something negative (anxiety). Regular exercise benefits the human body in numerous ways, not the least of which is its impact on the brain. More information on the link between exercise and improved mental health is available at

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COMMUNITY BANK & TRUST OF FLORIDA WEALTH MANAGEMENT SERVICES There are two things people avoid thinking about: death and what to do with their money. Unfortunately, a lack of foresight can add immeasurable heartache and complication to matters we’d really like to leave to someone else. Instead of putting it off, what about actually leaving the details to someone else? Most people think they would be just another number to a bank handling their trust management, investment management, or retirement planning, but Community Bank & Trust of Florida disagrees. They have a team of people working hard to manage the assets of local residents. “We really are able to get to know our clients and their families personally,” says Lee Ebanks, the senior trust officer at Community Bank & Trust of Florida. “We see faces and know our clients. They are not just another number.” The bank offers programs that help plan retirement and investments, and it handles estate planning, too. It has all the expertise and services of a larger bank but takes care of each account personally and specifically. With Community Bank & Trust of Florida, you won’t be pushed into a programmed bundle for your investments. Decisions are made with you with your individual interests in mind. As an added bonus, you don’t have to be ultra-wealthy to partake in these professional services. “Most big banks won’t look at you unless your investable assets are well into the millions,” Ebanks says. “We have the flexibility to look at the individual needs and assets to get a complete picture.”

Their expertise in investments is crucial, but so is the ability to handle family dynamics and differing needs of family members. Because of their size and the limited number of clients they will take on, they are able to navigate the delicate work of estate planning and management so that your wishes can be adhered to for you and your family over generations. Many people leave this to a family member, but Ebanks suggests alleviating the strain upon those you would leave behind. “Many times a family member doesn’t have the knowledge, expertise or time to do it, and this could create conflict with other family members. The bank is an unbiased third party, with the knowledge and expertise to properly administer an estate or trust according to the intent and terms of the document.” With a local bank on your side, you will be able to set out an agreement in clear language and have it followed to the letter. Community Bank & Trust of Florida can also help your family avoid estate taxes, but they say it should be taken care of in the planning stages. You are a big deal. Your life, your money and your family are worth taking care of. Community Bank & Trust of Florida will do that through retirement planning, investment management and estate planning so you can put the important decisions behind you, knowing it is in competent, caring hands. For more information on these programs, visit

Investments are NOT FDIC insured, NOT deposits, obligations of, or guaranteed by any bank, and may lose value.

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Begin the new year in a new home After flatlining during the economic downturn that began around 2008, housing markets in many regions of the United States and Canada have shown signs of recovery. Those in the market to buy and sell may find this year presents an ideal opportunity to do just that. According to the real estate listing Web site Zillow, home values rose 5.1 percent across the United States between February 2012 and February 2013. The latest forecasts from Canada Mortage and Housing Corporation indicate a strong housing demand into 2014, at which time a strengthened economy will energize both resale and new housing markets. Buyers will need to be prepared to purchase inventory right away, while sellers will need to price their homes right for the best chance of sale. The following are some guidelines. Buyers Having a plan is essential when buying a home, as such a purchase is not something buyers should take lightly. Establishing a budget is the first step. This means taking inventory of savings, expenses and borrowing power. It is adviseable to sit down with a lender and do a run-through of what you can afford. By providing key financial information, including earning statements, existing debt and credit history, buyers can quickly learn how much they’re qualified to borrow and how much they are comfortable borrowing. This helps buyers zero in on homes in their price range. Being preapproved for a mortgage is advantageous when it comes time to make offers on properties. It shows sellers that buyers are serious and that they have been vetted by the bank. Many buyers conduct a lot of research online prior to stepping into a home. This research lasts an average of six to eight weeks, according to the National Association of Realtors. Homework includes investigat-

ing neighborhoods and school systems, comSellers paring the going rates of homes in the area, as well as figuring out which features are desired Sellers competing for business in a thriving in a home. housing market also have to do their share of work. It is unlikely sellers will be able to list their It also is important to hire a buyer’s agent. Such homes for sale one day and have dozens of professionals send buyers listings that fit their offers the next. Today’s buyers are much more home-search parameters, which saves buyers conservative, and homes will have to be prea lot of time and effort. Some agents preview sented in the best light and listed at reasonhomes for their buyers, even going so far as to able prices. identify overpriced listings that can be avoided or finding sellers who are willing to negotiate. Sellers can start the process of selling their A buyer’s agent works for the buyer, meaning homes by researching recently sold homes in there will be no conflict of interest. Agents as- their neighborhoods, paying particular attensist buyers in the negotiating process, using tion to final sales prices. This information may their knowledge of the real estate market to be available through tax records, and some help buyers make realistic offers that are likely real estate sites publish the data online. Sellto be accepted while providing a wealth of in- ers can then compare this information to what formation about housing trends, area services they still owe on their mortgages if their homes and home improvement vendors. are not paid off, and this should give sellers an idea of their potential profits. When sellers accept buyers’ offers, buyers must then arrange home inspections. An in- Sellers also can benefit from working with real spection is oftentimes included as a contract estate agents, as it can be quite difficult and contingency, and buyers have a right to cancel stressful for homeowners to sell their homes contracts if inspections find that a home is un- on their own. Agents have access to multiple satisfactory structurally. listing databases and industry contacts, information that is quite valuable when selling a home. Agent will do their own assessments of a home to help sellers price the home accordingly based on market conditions. In addition, real estate agents can inform sellers about which, if any, repairs or changes may need to be made to make a home more attractive to prospective buyers. Real estate agents also help sellers through the negotiating process, finding a balance between what the buyer wants to pay and how much the seller wants for the home. Housing markets are once again looking up. As the new year arrives, many people may find now is the time find their next homes. Understanding the process and getting guidance from real estate professionals makes the process of buying and selling a home that much easier.

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Gainesville Sun Guide to Well-Being  
Gainesville Sun Guide to Well-Being  

Special Section 2014 Guide to Well-Being