It may seem like there’s always something going on as a homeowner, from silencing a squeaky hinge to unclogging a temperamental toilet. But many household problems can be easily fixed without calling a repair service.
A can of WD-40, a toilet plunger and a bottle of vinegar are great basics to keep on hand for easing sticky fittings, clearing the toilet and making short work of common stains. Here are some simple fixes for common home problems that even the non-handy can handle:
Banish that annoying squeak by sprinkling a little talcum powder over the noisy area and brushing it into the cracks.
Removed stubborn stains by combining equal amounts of cream of tartar and baking soda with enough lemon juice to make a paste. Rub the mixture into the stain...
Unauthorized credit inquiries are a sign that someone has fraudulently applied for credit in your name. They can hurt your credit score and make your financial life more difficult until they’re removed from your credit report.
A credit inquiry is a record that your credit report was accessed because you submitted a credit application somewhere.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act defines who can be granted legal access to your credit. These include you, a court order if you’re alleged to have caused credit damage, debt collectors, lenders, employers (with your permission) and insurance underwriters.
An unauthorized credit inquiry is when your credit is being used fraudulently by someone, such as running up...
According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, granite countertops are in less demand today, while the use of quartz is on the rise.
Why? For one thing, man-made quartz countertops are offered in a far greater range of looks and feels. Reason number two: it’s a bit easier to maintain over the long haul, and it’s deemed a better environmental choice because it emits lower levels of radon—a potentially cancer-causing agent. To be fair, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains the radioactive materials in granite countertops are far too minuscule to pose a health threat.
So what, exactly, is a quartz countertop? It’s made of engineered stone, composed of at least 90% ground-up quartz mixed with a binder (like resin) then molded into a slab. Because pigment is added during the manufacturing process, the sky’s...
If you’re planning on designing a new garden, patio or outdoor living space in the future, you’re likely going to work with a landscaper. Aside from the cost of the project, there are some important conversations you should have with your landscaper before they break ground. Here are four questions to start with.
Can I see examples of your work? It’s an error to assume someone will get your design ideas without seeing past examples of their work. They likely have a stack of examples, so all you have to do is ask.
How long will the process take? Make sure to have a clear time window (dates are preferable) so you know how long your landscaper expects the job to take. This will also help hold them accountable should the project run longer.
When will the plants reach maturity, and what will that look like? ...
Looking to cut your energy costs?
It can take years for a new, more energy-efficient refrigerator or other major appliance to pay for itself in savings on a utility bill. If that’s the path you want to take, this Energy Star calculator can estimate the amount of money saved by replacing an old fridge with a new one. But if you want to see quicker results, here’s how you can save on cash and your energy usage:
Less Hot Water
By lowering the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, you use less energy to heat your water. You can also use less hot water by washing clothes in cold water, and only using the dishwasher when it’s completely full and during off-peak times if your utility company offers lower rates.
Set the Thermostat
The furnace and air conditioners consume the...
The value of your home is influenced by price, time, and market conditions. As your local real estate professional, my goal is to assist you in the determination of the value of your home by giving you current, factual data on the market conditions and the average market time for homes in your area. This infographic will better explain how these three areas impact your home's value.
A cluttered home implies a few things, and none of them are positive in the eyes of a potential buyer:
- The house is too small.
- There must not be enough storage in the house.
- The rooms look unkempt. Maybe the rest of the house has been poorly maintained.
A potential buyer should be able to tour your house and easily imagine their own furniture and possessions in the space. A cluttered atmosphere stymies their imagination and creates an immediate negative impression in their minds.
One of the reasons realtors suggest that you remove personal items like family photographs is for that exact reason. The buyers need to be able to envision themselves living in the rooms they're checking out. If anything, there should be less "stuff" around than you might be comfortable with. Tidy rooms that aren't overcrowded with furniture and clutter...
You have spent the last 10 years saving up for the deposit on your dream house. After finally finding what you believe to be the perfect property in a prime location you are now bogged down with the task of finding a mortgage lender in your area. Without the excess funds needed for the cost of the house, finding a mortgage lender is imperative to extend you the credit required to purchase your new home.
Before seeking out financing elsewhere, it is always good to first contact your financial institution and weigh their mortgage options. This should be your initial search for a lender. If your financial institution is not able to provide you with an ideal finance option for your mortgage needs then you may continue to look further. It is good to shop around to compare the rates and fees each bank charges.
There are large national banks here in Omaha but a...
Everybody naturally wants to get the best price possible when thinking about selling their home; but just the fact that it is your home can make you think it's worth more than it actually is. Keeping it well-maintained is a good idea and when updating it's important to weigh your return on investment. In other words, knowing which home improvement projects are going to give you the best return on investment is important. Here's a breakdown of the best home improvements:
1. Bathroom Remodel
For every dollar you spend spiffing up your bathroom, you'll get back all the money you put in, plus 2% for a 102% rate of return. Simple fixes include repainting, re-caulking the tub, removing and replacing old shower doors, and replacing old...
It's easy to get caught up on all of the glamorous house-flipping and renovation shows on the cable channels. The shows always portray things as incredibly easy, and it seems like the investors always earn a profit. This is not always the case in real life. Fortunately, there are many ways to invest in real estate. If you're just getting started you may want to consider some of the following options.
1. A REIT, or real estate investment trust. The corporation or trust that manages the REIT uses investors' money to buy and manage properties. This is a great way to invest in commercial properties or apartment buildings -- the kind of properties that are usually out of reach for a beginning investor. Plus, the REIT already has a management team in place so you don't have to do all of the hard work yourself. REITs are ideal for stock market investors who want a fairly safe,...