General

How to Save your Home from Foreclosure and Rescue Your Finances

Losing a home to a foreclosure is a heartbreaking low point for a lot of homeowners. But there is an easy way to turn the situation around. When it comes to how to save your home from foreclosure and rescue your finances, start with a real estate agent experienced with quick sales. Selling your home quickly for an adequate price often rescues your home and allows you to pay the mortgage company what you owe. According to an article by realtor.com, receiving a foreclosure notice or "notice of default" is not a hopeless situation.

Figuring out what you owe

A good real estate agent will give you a free market analysis of your home so you know how much money you will likely receive from a sale. Ask your agent about inexpensive...

Ways New Homeowners Can Save Money on Home Maintenance

For many first-time homeowners, unexpected maintenance and repair costs can really put a damper on the finances. The good news is that there are some simple steps new homeowners can take to reduce their long-term maintenance costs and keep their homes well taken care of.

Purchase a Home Warranty

Upon negotiating the price of the home with the seller, it can never hurt to ask for the seller to throw in a home warranty with the cost of the home. These warranties can vary greatly in their coverage, but they can include anything from common appliance repairs and service to HVAC inspections and tune-ups. Even if you already purchased the home without a warranty, it's never too late to buy one for yourself.

Tackle Small Projects Yourself

For smaller projects around the house, such as painting jobs or other...

Our 5 Warmest Things to Do in an Omaha, Nebraska Winter

It's January in Nebraska, and that means we're all feeling the bite and chill of Winter. January is especially brisk, with an average high of only 34.2 degrees and an average of 7" of snowfall every month. While it's tempting to bundle up and stay indoors, the great city of Omaha and its surrounding neighborhoods certainly aren't doing that!

Here are 5 of our favorite ways to stay warm this January in the big O.

Snuggle Up in Front of A Big Screen

Sure, you can always go see something available nation-wide at a huge multiplex that's going to charge $20 a ticket and be your general run-of-the-mill, nothing special experience. Or, you could hang out at Film Streams and catch not only local indie flicks, but nationally accredited documentaries, and even old favorites (Iron Giant, anyone?).

Grab Some Seriously Tasty Donuts

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Quick Fixes for Your Common Household Problems

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:

Squeaky Floorboard
Banish that annoying squeak by sprinkling a little talcum powder over the noisy area and brushing it into the cracks.

Stained Tub 
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 with...

How to Deal with Unauthorized Credit Inquiries

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 a lot...

4 Questions to Ask Your Landscaper Before They Dig In

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...

6 Shortcuts to a Smaller Utility Bill

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...

Four ways for a beginner to invest in real estate

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...

How to Save Your Home From Foreclosure

One out of every 200 homes will be foreclosed upon, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Foreclosure is a traumatic experience that no family should have to experience. It contributes to depression and marital problems, and causes distress among family members. Many homeowners report they even avoided their lenders out of embarrassment during financial struggles. You may not be able to prevent job loss, but there are some things you can do to save your home from foreclosure.

  1.  Call the lender. Let them know that you are having financial trouble before you miss a payment. There are ways they can work with you to avoid foreclosure. They don't want to own your home, but they need you to help yourself so they can help you.
  2. Check your terms to see if you have any coverage for your situation. For example, the Home Affordable...

Enjoy a Meal Downtown

As you're unpacking boxes and arranging furniture, hunger is likely to strike. Since you might not have your refrigerator or pantry stocked full of food quite yet, we thought we would recommend a few great restaurants in Omaha.

Spaghetti Works Restaurant - Located in the center of Old Market, this restaurant offers diners a unique dining experience as it's housed inside a restored warehouse. Its menu offers something for just about everyone with choices such as Cajun Shrimp Alfredo, Eggplant Parmesan, and Lasagna.  This is a place everyone can find something to eat. 

Block 16 - Block 16 is known for its farm to table street food. The owners met in Metropolitan Community...