Which Down Payment Strategy is Right for You?

You’ve most likely heard the rule: Save for a 20-percent down payment before you buy a home. The logic behind saving 20 percent is solid, as it shows that you have the financial discipline and stability to save for a long-term goal. It also helps you get favorable rates from lenders. But there can actually be financial benefits to putting down a small down payment—as low as three percent—rather … [Read more...]

Five Money-Saving Green Upgrades

Going green is great for the environment, but that’s not the only benefit. When you make green upgrades in your home, it can also lead to some major savings. Solar panels: The upfront cost is big, but the long-term savings are huge. Solar panels will cost several thousand dollars to install, but ongoing maintenance costs are very low, and a typical system could save you hundreds of dollars … [Read more...]

Priority Tasks for Your Move In

Moving into a new home is an exciting time, and you’re probably daydreaming about decor and paint schemes and new furniture. But before you get into the fun stuff, there are some basics you should cover on your priority list first. Change the locks Even if you’re promised that new locks have been installed in your home, you can never be too careful. It’s worth the money to have the peace … [Read more...]

10 Simple Comforts Houseguests Will Adore You For

You’re expecting houseguests. Fun! You want them to feel welcome, comfortable, and — dare we say it? — maybe even a tad envious of your hosting prowess. No need to moonlight at hospitality school. We asked Airbnb hosts with tons of great reviews on their cozy bungalows and light-filled island condos for some quick, easy (and cheap!) ideas to turn your guest quarters into a vacation haven. Be … [Read more...]

Recycle Scottsdale

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5 Holiday Hosting Disasters and How to Avoid Them

Take a look at the most common things that can go wrong when you have holiday guests over and learn how to prevent them. Holiday Mishaps Imagine you’re preparing to host your annual holiday party, and you’re past the point of no return. The veggies and meats have been bought. Guests are already braving busy airports and crowded highways to get to your home -- and then your oven won’t turn on. … [Read more...]

9 Money-Saving Tips That Grandma Never Told You About

Your grandma and her ma before her knew how to pinch pennies. Bet they knew where every dime of their household income went. Do you? Don't kick yourself if you don't. It's tough in this day and age of automatic billing and apps that tap your debit card. But we all could still learn a thing or two from grandma. Here are a few money-saving and money-making habits that your grandparents cultivated … [Read more...]

What’s Causing Those Spooky Sounds and Smells?

Are you haunted by strange noises and weird odors? With the proper maintenance, you’ve got more than a ghost of a chance to rest easy. Creaking and Popping in the Night The many materials that make up your house — wood framing, plywood, glass, metal ducts, nails, plumbing pipes — all expand and contract at different rates. When a house cools at night, these materials may move slightly, … [Read more...]

6 Halloween Must-Do’s to Keep Little Trick-or-Treaters Safe

Everyone loves a good scare on Halloween -- as long as it’s just a trick. To help you avoid any real-life scares -- such as falls, fires, and traffic accidents -- around your property this All Hallows Eve, play it safe while you’re setting up your Halloween lights and decorations. Here are seven simple precautions recommended by John Pettibone, curator of Hammond Castle, a Gloucester, Mass., … [Read more...]

5 Deck Makeover Projects Under $300

Want to upgrade your deck but watching your budget? Here are 5 easy deck makeover ideas, many well under $300. If you'd rather hide inside rather than hang out on your tired-looking deck, you need an upgrade. Here are five ways to transform it back to its fun self. 1. Add Solar Lighting If you’d like your wood deck to come alive when the sun goes down, add solar lighting. Solar lights … [Read more...]