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4 “To Dos” Before Listing Your Home

Posted in Home Ownership, Tips for Homeowners | June 9, 2014

You made the decision to put your home up for sale, but then realized a small “face lift” could be in order. Honesty is never easy, is it? You don’t need a real estate agent to tell you that first impressions count. This is true from the curb to the front door, but also includes sights, sounds and smells from inside. Here are four “To Dos” to take care of before you list your home. For the most part, these can be done fairly inexpensively or even with a bit of elbow grease. 1. Take a Look (photo: David Sawyer) Real estate agents refer to the impression of your home between the street and your entrance way as its “curb appeal.” Ugliness, or negative curb appeal, can be a major turn-off to

Moving! 7 Tips to Make Packing Easier

Posted in Home Ownership, Home Tips and Trends, Tips for Homeowners | June 9, 2014

Life is not always like a box of chocolates, particularly when it comes time to pack up and move. Packing is stressful, whether you plan to move from a one-bedroom apartment or a 3,000 square-foot home. As is true with anything in life, a little bit of planning and forethought can go a long way. While moving strategies are not always cut-and-dried, some guiding principles do apply –  like these seven tips to make packing easier. Packing to Move: Your 7 Step Plan If you pack the wrong things in the wrong order, you’ll make things that much harder on yourself. Try it this way: 1. Clear out the clutter. Presumably, this packing thing has not been suddenly sprung upon you, and you have needed time to de-clutter your home. Think of this process as

10 Ways to Save on Your Summer Vacation

Posted in Personal Finance, Saving Money, Tips for Homeowners | May 20, 2014

Photo: Velas Vallarta Resort Did you know that the United States is the only advanced economy not to provide a legal right to paid vacation time? Maybe that’s why we get so few days off each year: On average, we take just 13, according to VP Calendar. You’d expect European countries to be more generous with their vacation provision, and you’d be right: the average Brit gets 28 days, German 35 days, and Italian a whopping 42. But even South Koreans take 25 days, and that’s fewer than either Canadians or Brazilians. All this means that vacations are uniquely precious to Americans. Because ours tend to be shorter and less frequent, we have to make the most of them. And that often means wringing the very best value out of

8 Signs You Must Remodel or Seek Family Counseling

Posted in Home Equity, Home Ownership, Home Tips and Trends, Tips for Homeowners | May 9, 2014

Photo: Roseanna Dana The fantasy: a relaxing bath, with perhaps a new paperback and a glass of Pinot Gris, and no one clamoring for dinner or attention. The reality: you’re three pages into your book when husband or kids bang on the door, yelling that they need “the john, NOW!” If this annoying ritual has been going on since the kids were just out of diapers, by now you may wonder if there are deep-seated, underlying issues causing your family’s irritating behavior. It’s gotten so bad that you have stopped enjoying a glass of wine with your bath — now you just hide in a closet and down the entire bottle. Could all this dysfunction come from choosing a home with only one bathroom? You bet — now, your family

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