When you purchase a home, a title company will research the property to ensure that you are the rightful owner. They’ll look through records for anything that might cause problems—ownership disputes, restrictions, unpaid taxes, liens, and more. Their goal is … Continue reading
When you buy a fixer-upper house, you can save a ton of money, or get yourself in a financial fix. Continue reading
House hunting is just like any other shopping expedition. If you identify exactly what you want and do some research, you’ll zoom in on the home you want at the best price. These eight tips will guide you through a smart homebuying process. Continue reading
These seven steps will help you make smart decisions about your biggest purchase. Continue reading
Most of us fall into the habit of disposing of all of our household items when they’ve broken, expired, or simply are no longer useful. But for environmental and safety reasons, here are five items that need to be disposed of with care Continue reading
By: Oliver Marks Is your front entryway ready for Halloween visitors? Keep everything fun and accident-free with these seven safety tips. Everyone loves a good scare on Halloween — as long as it’s just a trick. To help you avoid … Continue reading
There are several agencies you may contact to learn about help for home improvements: Search for a local Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) office or call the Public and Indian Housing (PIH) Customer Service Center at 1-800-955-2232 for the phone … Continue reading
By: Douglas Trattner Originally Published: October 26, 2012 When weather stripping on doors and windows gets worn out, cold air comes sneaking in. Here’s how to replace weather stripping and stop air leaks. Identifying Worn Weather Stripping Weather stripping deteriorates … Continue reading
Originally Published: December 9, 2011
Here’s how to light up your Christmas light display safely and economically.
1. Safety first. Emergency rooms are filled with home owners who lose fights with their holiday lights and fall off ladders or suffer electric shocks. To avoid the holiday black and blues, never hang lights solo; instead, work with a partner who holds the ladder. Also, avoid climbing on roofs after rain or snow.
2. Unpack carefully. Lights break and glass cuts. So unpack your lights gingerly, looking for and replacing broken bulbs along the way.
3. Extension cords are your friends. Splurge on heavy-duty extension cords that are UL-listed for outdoor use. To avoid overloading, only link five strings of lights together before plugging into an extension cord.
4. LEDs cost less to light. LED Christmas lights use roughly 70% to 90% less energy and last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs. You can safely connect many more LED light strings than incandescents. Downside: Some think they don’t burn as brightly as incandescent bulbs.
5. Solar lights cost nothing to run. Solar Christmas lights are roughly four times more expensive to buy than LEDs, but they cost zero to run. They’re a bright-burning, green alternative. Downside: If there’s no sun during the day, there’s no light at night. The jury’s also still out on how long they last; they’re too new on the market for results.
6. Dismantle lights sooner than later. Sun, wind, rain, and snow all take their toll on Christmas lights. To extend the life of lights, take them down immediately after the holidays. The longer you leave the up, the sooner you’ll have to replace them.
7. Plan next year’s display on Dec. 26. Shop the after-Christmas sales to get the best prices on lights and blowups that you can proudly display next year. Stock up on your favorite lights so you’ll have spares when you need them (and after they’re discontinued).
8. Permanent attachments save time. If you know you’ll always hang lights from eaves, install permanent light clips ($13 for 75 clips) that will save you hanging time each year. You’ll get a couple/three years out of the clips before sun eats the plastic.
9. Find those blueprints. Instead of guessing how many light strings you’ll need, or measuring with a tape, dig up your house blueprints or house location drawings (probably with your closing papers) and use those measurements as a guide.
10. Store them in a ball. It sounds counterintuitive, but the best way to store lights is to ball them up. Wrap five times in one direction, then turn the ball 90 degrees and repeat. Store your light balls in cardboard boxes, rather than in plastic bags: Cardboard absorbs residual moisture and extends the life of your lights.
Recent article distributed by the Arkansas REALTORS Association by Andrea Alford, Deputy Executive Director of the Arkansas Real Estate Commission.
In the real estate business, the concept of agency representation, or who represents whom in a real estate transaction, is often misunderstood. In 1978, the FTC did a study that showed most consumers had no idea if the agent they worked with represented them, the opposite party, or both. To make matters worse, many real estate agents themselves were unclear about which party was entitled to their absolute loyalty as agents. This study prompted real estate practitioners, regulators and educators to work toward establishing a greater understanding of agency representation. Among consumers and practitioners alike, awareness of this concept seems to have improved in recent years. Nonetheless, it is a topic that always bears revisiting.