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What Should You Do If You Inherit a Home?

May 18, 2024

When inheriting a home, some people have mixed feelings about what to do with the property, especially if it has sentimental value.You could move into the home if it meets your familys needs, but beware of maintenance costs.If you have a small business, the home might be an ideal place to run operations without interruption.You could even sell the home and invest the money in your future.To hold onto the property, cover maintenance costs and earn some money, you could rent the house out.Ultimately, choosing what to do with an inherited home depends on your current situation and overall goals.Published with permission from RISMedia.


7 Safety Tips Every Homeowner Should Know

May 17, 2024

Like most homeowners, you probably have your water heater strapped down and you flush out the gutters every spring. But there are many other tips that make a big difference in terms of both safety and thriftiness.The home safety watchdogs at offer seven tips to start with:Monitor furnace filters. Clogged furnace filters cost you in both efficiency and higher bills. For peak performance, replace them every 30 – 60 days. Keep track of when you replaced them last by buying several and labeling them by month.Shut off the water when on vacation. Every insurance adjuster hears it: “We left town on Friday and returned Sunday evening to find thousands of dollars in water damage.” Before going on vacation, turn off the main water valve. In less than a minute, you can eliminate the most common cause of home damage.Dont leave the remote in your car. Anyone who breaks into your car can grab the remote for easy access to your garage, and the registration card in your glove box gives the thief your address. Ditch the remote on your visor and buy a keychain model you can take with you every time you leave the car.Think about replacing pipes. If you have galvanized steel pipes in your home and low water flow at faucets, chances are the pipes are to blame. Galvanized pipe is prone to mineral buildup, which eventually chokes off the water flow. Replacing the pipes is the best cure, especially if you live in an older home.Check the breaker first. When a light goes out or a switch doesnt work, check the main electrical panel for a tripped circuit breaker. Look for a switch thats not in line with the others. Flip it to the ‘off’ position and then back on.Get low flow showerheads. Showerheads are heavy water users and major energy eaters, since 70 percent of the water used is heated. By reducing hot-water consumption, a low-flow unit can pay for itself in just one month. Many of todays water-efficient showerheads now provide a high-flow feel.Install ceiling fans. Moving air increases evaporation from your skin and helps keep you comfortable at higher thermostat settings.Published with permission from RISMedia.


How Seniors Can Save on Car Insurance

May 16, 2024

Auto insurance rates typically rise for senior citizens, who can be more accident-prone than they were in middle age with slower reflexes, changes in hearing or vision, and health conditions that can make driving difficult.Older drivers are also more likely to die or suffer worse injuries in auto accidents than younger people, requiring expensive treatment. That can lead to higher costs for insurers, which are passed on to drivers.Senior drivers can lower their auto insurance costs in a few ways:Take a class: Many states require discounts for completing a driver safety course. AARP offers many of these classes, which can reduce premiums by 5-15 percent.Pay as you go: Seniors can save up to 40 percent by using pay-as-you-go insurance programs where a device is installed on their car to record mileage and driving habits. Speed, braking tendencies and acceleration are collected and people who drive safely can have lower insurance premiums.Drive less: Chances are youre no longer commuting if youre a senior driver, so be sure to alert your insurance company to your annual mileage change. Driving about 7,500 miles per year or so can save about 10 percent on insurance. A device tracking your mileage can tell your insurer how few miles youre driving.Less coverage: If you go to a second home for the winter and leave your car at your primary home, ask your insurance company if it offers parked vehicle or snowbird coverage during the months youre not using your car.Get a safer car: If youre thinking of buying a new car, you can save on insurance if it has the latest safety features. Rearview cameras, lane drift warnings, collision warning systems, parking assist, among others that arent even on the market yet, can lower insurance rates.Group discounts: Groups such as AARP have promotional pricing, called an affinity discount. If youre a retired teacher or government worker, for example, your union may have a group discount for members.Stop driving: This is an extreme way to save money, but if your auto insurance rates are high because you have a poor driving record, it may be time to stop driving entirely.AARP says that some of the signs that youre having difficulty driving include frequent close calls, dents or scrapes on your car, getting lost in familiar locations, trouble seeing or following traffic signals or signs, confusing the gas and brake pedals, misjudging gaps in traffic at intersections, and having difficulty turning around to check the rear-view mirror while back up or changing lanes.Hope these tips proved useful! Feel free to contact me for more information.Published with permission from RISMedia.


Why You Should Use Reclaimed Wood in Your Home

May 15, 2024

Here are just a few reasons why reclaimed wood might be the right choice for you! Its an eco-friendly option, so youre helping to preserve natural resources. You can feel good about using timber that would otherwise go to waste. Each piece of reclaimed wood is unique, and has often already developed a patina. For a long time, reclaimed wood was only used in traditional or rustic design; however, these days, it can be found in almost any setting. Unlike new materials, theres a story behind reclaimed wood that gives character to your home. While certain styles come and go, salvaged wood has timeless appeal that continues to improve with age.Published with permission from RISMedia.


How to Prevent Mold

May 14, 2024

Mold inside a house can cause serious health problems, including sinus irritation, congestion, headaches and respiratory difficulties. The health effects of mold are more serious in children, pregnant women, senior citizens and people with respiratory problems.Mold can grow in any moist environment, which makes a home a perfect breeding ground. Mold spores can accumulate on surfaces and travel through the air in a house. Here are some strategies to control the level of moisture in your home and prevent mold from taking hold.Reduce Moisture Levels in Your House Walk through your house and look for areas where moisture tends to accumulate. The bathroom is an obvious one, but moisture is also often found in the kitchen, laundry room, basement and around windows.Remove laundry from the washing machine quickly to avoid the growth of mold. Hang bath towels to dry, and avoid leaving containers in the shower where they can accumulate moisture. Wipe down the shower after each use to minimize the amount of moisture in the bathroom. Vacuum and clean carpet and furniture to remove mold spores. If a surface or piece of furniture is contaminated with mold and cannot be cleaned, discard it.Keep the humidity inside your home at a moderate level. You can buy a meter to monitor the amount of moisture in the air. You can reduce the level of moisture in your home by using a dehumidifier or fans. Clean and inspect your air conditioner and dehumidifier to make sure they’re not producing moisture. If you notice water accumulating around windows or on walls, open the windows to dry out the room.Ventilation can reduce or prevent the growth of mold. Turn on a fan or open a window when taking a shower. Appliances that produce moisture, such as the dryer and stove, should be vented to the outside.If any part of your home experiences water damage, dry it out as soon as possible. Wipe up spills immediately. If there is a roof or plumbing leak or flooding, remove wet carpet and have wet furniture professionally cleaned. Have the roof or plumbing problem repaired quickly to prevent future growth of mold.Water that accumulates around your house can lead to mold. Make sure the ground is pitched in a way that allows water to flow away from the house. Clean your gutters regularly to keep them free of blockages so water can flow freely to the downspouts.Protect Your FamilyMold is a serious threat to your familys health. You can protect yourselves by making a concerted effort to control the level of humidity in your home and by removing sources of water as soon as you find them. By being vigilant and proactive, you can prevent the growth of mold.Published with permission from RISMedia.


How to Make Sure Your Food Is Safe to Eat

May 13, 2024

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Financial Priorities for Newlyweds

May 12, 2024

Deciding where to live, if youre going to have children, and who takes out the garbage are some of the big and small decisions newlyweds have to make together after the wedding gifts are put away and theyre ready to start their lives together.There are also financial decisions to make as a married couple, though they may not be as easy to discuss as whos making dinner on Sunday nights.Here are some financial priorities newlyweds should set " together:Set a budget: A good way to start is by living within your means and setting a family budget. Start by making a list of your monthly income and expenses, and decide which are must-haves (rent and groceries) and which can be eliminated or at least cut back (cable TV and dining out).The goal is for your budget to leave you with enough extra money each month to save for other goals, and to not spend more than you have. If you have debt, including credit card debt, come up with a plan to pay it off.Financial goals: Discuss your individual and joint goals, and start saving for them. These can include having children, saving for a down payment on a house, buying a new car, and funding retirement accounts for each of you.Insurance: There are a few insurance needs to consider when you get married. A family health insurance plan may save you money, as will having all family cars on one auto insurance policy. You may also need extra homeowners or renters insurance to cover all the possessions you now have together, including jewelry and all of those expensive wedding gifts you just received.Life insurance is important when youre married, especially if one spouse doesnt work and relies on the other person for an income, or if youre going to have children soon.Tax withholdings: Getting married can lower your taxes. If one spouse isnt working, then the other can add them as an allowance on their taxes, allowing them to change their withholding from their paycheck and bring more money home. An IRS worksheet can help make this calculation.Bank accounts: Joint checking, savings and emergency accounts, along with keeping individual checking accounts for pocket money, are bank accounts worth discussing as a couple. Splitting electric bills in half, as you may have done in college, is over.Once you get started on these accounts, give yourself six months or so to get used to them before deciding to make changes. A budget and joint bank accounts, like a new marriage, can take a little work.Aaron Crowe is a freelance journalist who specializes in personal finance topics.Published with permission from RISMedia.


4 Ways to Create a Statement Ceiling

May 11, 2024

Here are a few stand-out ways to add a statement ceiling to your home!Add a Pop of ColorTry a simple splash from the rooms existing color scheme or go bold with a hand-painted pattern.Get Creative With TexturesFrom exposed wood to custom plaster ceiling treatments, textures add a new layer of depth.Incorporate Unique LightingDramatic chandeliers or pendants will take it to the next level while illuminating colors and textures more vividly.Hang WallpaperWallpaper doesnt just belong on the wall! Traditional patterns and custom-made designs can be added to any ceiling.Published with permission from RISMedia.

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