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June 20, 2017

Summer Fun on Mackinac Island

Known as the jewel of the Great Lakes, Mackinac Island, Michigan is America’s all-natural theme park. This beautiful island is located in Lake Huron and is a trendy destination for rental properties. The town has a rich history and is a popular tourist destination for sports fishermen, nature enthusiasts, and summer cottage getaways. In the 1890s, tourists began bringing their noisy horseless carriages (also known as cars) to the island, and local residents rebelled. The city passed a ban on cars for personal use, which still exists today! Instead of driving, you can walk, bike, or take a ride in one of the city’s horse-drawn carriages and taxis.

Mackinac Island [...]

 
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June 16, 2017

Planting a Pet-Friendly Garden

Many of our furry friends, puppies especially, will try and taste just about anything they can reach. Cats are pickier, but will still chew on grasses and flowers. Most people know that chocolate is a no-go, but some mushrooms, flowers, grasses, and other natural flora are also poisonous to pets. When out walking, don’t allow your pets to eat anything they find, since you can’t be certain of what it is or whether it might be toxic. Also note that many fertilizers and pesticides sprayed on roadsides or in gardens can be equally deadly, so it’s always a good idea to keep your pets from nibbling on plants in strange areas. But you have more control over your own yard, [...]

 
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June 2, 2017

City Spotlight: Baltimore, Maryland

If you are thinking of visiting or moving to a growing metropolis on the east coast, rich with history and economic opportunity, Baltimore may be the place for you. As the biggest city in Maryland and largest independent city in America, it's often been called the "city of neighborhoods" thanks to its hundreds of districts each with their own distinct charm and culture. Baltimore is home to the most public monuments per capita of any city in the U.S., making it a wonderful place for history buffs. Baltimore's famous past residents include Edgar Allen Poe, Edith Hamilton, Frederick Douglass, James "Eubie" Blake, Billie Holiday, and Babe Ruth. Another fun fact? Our nation's anthem was [...]
 
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May 31, 2017

Top 15 Summer Vacation Destinations

Summer vacation is a wonderful time of year to explore this great nation of ours. Pack up the family and get a neighbor to water the plants – now is the time to learn a little about the history of key cities, explore new food options, immerse yourself in the culture of other regions, and celebrate all that our country has to offer! Look through this list to get some ideas and learn about up-and-coming places to visit and live.

1. Boston, Massachusetts

Boston is home to famous and family friendly world-class museums like the Boston Children’s Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Museum of Science, as well as numerous historic buildings. If you’re a [...]

 
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May 30, 2017

A Guide to Refinancing a Mortgage

A mortgage is effectively a legal agreement between you and a bank (or other creditor) in which the bank purchases your home for you and holds the title, until you can repay the bank with interest. The interest rate and closing costs of mortgages can vary widely, often driven by a wide array of variables including existing federal regulations, the bank’s own policies, and the strength of the U.S. economy at the time the loan is made. These variables change over time such as when interest rates rise or fall, and families sometimes find themselves in a situation where the terms of taking a new loan are significantly better than the old loan they may currently have. At times like [...]

 
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May 25, 2017

15 Ways to Keep Your Home Cool This Summer

Keeping your home cool in the summer heat is a major concern every time the thermometer starts creeping up. What’s worse is the soaring cost of power bills. The average central air conditioning unit can cost you anywhere from $52 to $350 per month to run for nine hours a day, depending on its efficiency and the price of electricity where you live. So the question becomes, how do you avoid the sweltering heat and keep your family comfortable without breaking your bank? Here are 15 tips to beat the heat other than cranking the thermostat as low as it’ll go.

Prepare your house for the summer by swapping out your sheets for cooler options, like cotton or linen. Save the [...]
 
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May 19, 2017

Trendy Summer Colors to Incorporate in Your Home

When many people think of summer, they think of warm, sandy beaches, picnics with the family on bright, green grass, trips to the park or baseball field, or simply laying back and soaking up those warm summer rays of sunshine. Summertime often evokes a special feeling of adventure or warmth, and as such is a popular theme to replicate in one’s own home for year-round enjoyment.

If you would like to create a feeling of “summer” in your home, there are some general guidelines you can follow. Go for a light, airy feel by reducing clutter and avoiding oversized furniture. Brighter shades on walls and lightly colored ceiling help open up a room. White trim can [...]

 
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May 2, 2017

Things Your Parents Didn’t Tell You About Taking Care of Your Home: Water Filters

Unlike air filters, which nearly every house uses, the need for and use of water filters can vary dramatically depending upon your locality. Water filters are the kind of thing you think aren’t important unless you need one, then when you do find yourself in a home or apartment with poor water quality, water filters become extremely important. Water filters can address a wide range of problems from mineral deposits and sediments to odd smells and tastes, and even bacteria and other microorganisms. It’s always a good idea to test your water when buying a new home, but if you find yourself in a place with less than ideal water, investing in a good water filter may be right [...]

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