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June 22, 2017

How Does Your ZIP Code Cost You Money?

Is your future ZIP code going to cost you money, or save you money? Will the ZIP code of your new house increase the cost of your car insurance, or decrease it? Will your child get a good education, or a poor one depending on the ZIP code? Will you pay more, or less, down the road for hotel rooms, clothes, cars or transportation?

A “cost of living analysis” by two large realty companies discovered that living in the suburbs versus living in the city does impact your cost of living – by thousands of dollars. Families living in the city will end up spending more than their country cousins. According to Care.com, city dwellers in Chicago and Dallas show a difference [...]

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May 26, 2017

Tips for Finding and Using Reclaimed Wood in Your Home

Call it a “vibe” or the energy, but there’s just something about using reclaimed wood in a home or office that makes the final project richer, and more luxurious. Reclaimed wood is far superior than anything you can buy from any big box home center, say designers and home owners who swear by reclaimed lumber.

“A lot of what makes old wood so much better is its age,” said designer and architect Mackey Smith of Reclaimed Space in Austin, Texas. Smith is one of a small team of design professionals, ranchers, environmentalists, and architects at the eight-year-old company. “Wood in homes before 1920 was cut from old growth lumber. There are [...]

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May 22, 2017

An Expert’s Top Tips for Getting the Best Yard Sale Deals

Yard sales are fun, but they can also be profitable and more productive if you know how to shop them and how to host them. Leah French, a professional picker and lifestyle writer, knows more than most about how to wring the best bargains out of a yard sale, and how to make the most money throwing one. French was About.com’s Flea Market and Yard Sale expert for eight years. With more than 15 years experience as an interior decorator, she’s been scouring yard sales, flea markets and thrift stores for almost two decades. Her articles have also appeared in Victorian Homes, Romantic Homes, and Flea Market Decor magazines.

She has written extensively about yard sales for [...]

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May 18, 2017

10 Resources for Furnishing Your New Home

You just signed your life (the next 15 to 30 years of it anyway) away on a mortgage. You have closing costs, moving costs, renovation costs and housewarming party costs (if you roll that way). So what’s it going to cost to furnish that new place? The answer is, “It depends.” It depends on the owners, the size of the house and where you shop, or how crafty and Do-It-Yourself handy you are and how expensive your taste is. However, if you know where to look for bargains you can double or triple the value of even the smallest budget. Here are ten places to start furnishing and furniture shopping:

Your Real Estate Agent

Not everyone who sells their home moves [...]

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May 10, 2017

Things I Wish I Knew When Going Through a Fire

“One of the number one things most house fire survivors say is, ‘I didn’t know how fast a fire could move,'” said Anthony C. Tornetta the Senior Manager of Media Relations for The American Red Cross. “Universally, all experts agree that you have just about two minutes to escape a fire before it’s too late to get out. Most survivors say they just have time to think, ‘It’s a house fire and it’s time to go. This is real, and I need to go,'” he said. “You don’t have time for much more if you want to live.”

People wish they knew there is no time to save anything but themselves in a house fire. Then they [...]

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May 5, 2017

Buying a Home in a Fire Zone

While California and other western states may get the most media coverage for their wildfires, it’s actually the southern United States that led the country in homes destroyed by wildfires in 2016.

According to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) there were more than 67,000 wildfires in the US last year. Those fires destroyed over 5.5 million acres, with nearly 1.6 of those lost acres in the south. Tennessee led the nation in wildfires, and the highest number of structures lost in one state – 2,000 plus residences and 53 commercial buildings. California ranked second with 754 residences and 12 commercial structures.

In spite of the catastrophic [...]

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May 2, 2017

How to Handle Dam Failure Near Your Home

Are you living near one of the more than 15,000 high-hazard potential dams in the United States that could kill you if it failed?

Who is Most at Risk?

According to FEMA, there are about 15,000 dams in the United States that are classified as having a high-hazard potential. That means if they fail, they could cause loss of life. It’s not such a far-fetched idea.

More than 190,000 residents were ordered to evacuate their homes when the Oroville, California Dam auxiliary spillway failed in February of this year. The Oroville Dam is the country’s tallest dam and is upstream of the town of Oroville, with its more than 190,000 residents. Winter rain and rising [...]

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April 25, 2017

Buying a Home in an Earthquake Zone

Once considered rare or unusual occurrences, earthquakes are now daily events, in part because of better monitoring, and communication of the quakes. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) now estimates that several million earthquakes occur in the world each year, although many go undetected because they occur in remote areas or have very small magnitudes.

In the U.S., the USGS now locates about 50 earthquakes each day, or about 20,000 a year. Oklahoma, for instance, had 623 earthquakes of 3+ in 2016; 903 in 2015; 579 in 2014; and 109 in 2013. According to E&E News (a news organization focused on energy and the environment), it’s the most seismically active [...]

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