Blog

Welcome to our Blog. here you will find articles that will both inspire as well as educate you on the process of buying, selling and maintaining your home. We also feature a weekend update of the things happening in and around our community. These are events and happenings in El Dorado Hills, Folsom, Granite Bay and the surrounding areas. Please feel free to connect with us by leaving a comment and or directly through the form below.  As always, we thank you for visiting us.


Entry-Level Homeowners Are in the Driver’s Seat
  One thing helping homeowners right now is price appreciation, especially in the entry-level market. In the latest Home Price Insights report, CoreLogic reveals how home prices increased by 4% year-over-year and projects prices will rise 5.2% by December 2020. Why is this good news for the homeowners? When prices appreciate, homeowners gain equity. In addition, those planning to sell
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Public Servants Get 50% Off The Purchase Of Their Home
The HUD sponsors the Good Neighbor Next Door program to help police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and elementary school teachers buy a house. Homes that HUD has acquired through FHA foreclosures in designated Revitalization Areas are available to public servants at 50 percent off list price. There are debt-to-income ratio guidelines, but there is
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8 Tips for Keeping a Healthy Home
We spend a lot of time in our homes, which is why it’s important to ensure that they’re a safe and healthy environment for ourselves and our families. To help you keep a healthy home, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers the following eight tips: 1. Keep It Dry. Prevent water from
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5 Motivation Tips for Losing Weight
Whether your goal is to lose one or 100, shedding pounds is no walk in the park (pardon the pun). If you’re seeking to better your lifestyle or know someone else who is, look no further for motivation than these five simple tips. 1. Make a commitment. Start by making a commitment to yourself. Many people
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How to Upcycle ‘Trash’ Into Treasure
Mid adult woman painting chair with paint roller with yellow color. Are you getting ready to haul that so-called junk out of your attic? Or haphazardly driving by another yard sale without giving it a second thought? Before you trade in older, used items for pricey replacements, consider how you might upcycle presumed “trash” into
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Why Labor Day?
History of Labor Day Labor Day 2019 On September 2, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor celebrates and honors the greatest worker in the world – the American worker. Labor Day 2019 is the 125th anniversary of Labor Day being celebrated as a national holiday. Labor Day: What it Means Labor Day, the first Monday
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3 Things to Avoid When Selling Your Home
Concept interior renders showing upside-down interior with furniture flying around. Gravity is under question. levitating interior. daylight scene With everything that goes into selling a home, it can be easy to forget some of the last-minute details. But, beware—buyers can be put off by seemingly small mistakes. If you want to get the most bang
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4 Ways to Sleep More Guests in Your Home
Do the in-laws and their brood stay at your home for the holidays? Do long-time friends drive up with their kids to visit you on occasion? Having a bunch of overnight guests can make even a large home seem small and crowded, causing you to freak out about where to stow everyone for the night.
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6 Renovations for the Average Joe
Hoping to renovate or remodel a space yourself? While certain jobs should be left to the pros, there are a few you can tackle yourself, regardless of your level of experience. Painting: This is the easiest and most obvious quick fix, but it can make a huge difference in the overall look and feel of your
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The History Of Labor Day
Labor Day: What it Means Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. Labor Day Legislation
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5 Ways to Pick the Perfect Color Scheme
If you’re revamping your interior design scheme, you may be considering a new color palette. Should you go with earthy hues? Vibrant jewel tones? Cool blues and grays? Below are five ways to pick a color scheme that will work for you. Choose from what you have. If you’re not revamping with an entirely new furniture
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Turning Your Dining Room into a Restaurant
Do you love fine dining but don’t quite have the budget? Or perhaps you’re looking to jazz up date night or create a fun evening for friends. Below are five ways to turn your dining room into a restaurant. Clear clutter. To start off on the right foot, clear clutter from your dining space. Stacks of
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4 To-Dos Before You Sell
The weather’s better in a neighboring state. It would be nice to be closer to the grandkids. Those are a lot of stairs to walk up. Whatever the reason, the idea of selling is beginning to have some appeal—but you might not be quite ready to start packing or see a “For Sale” sign in
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10 Quick Tips for Easier Downsizing
For empty nesters and others, moving into a smaller space can mean less maintenance and a welcome bump in discretionary income. But what to keep and what to toss can be a difficult, and sometimes painful, decision. The editors at after55.com offer 10 good tips for making the move without losing your mind: Don’t do
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Keys to Buying a Second Home
If you’ve been thinking about buying a second home, now is a good time to take the leap. Mortgage rates are still historically low. But there are some vital things to do before you start shopping. Follow these steps to make buying a second home a smooth process: The best way to start the search
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Cooling Your New Home: 2 Factors to Consider
Buying a home without air conditioning? You’re going to want to consider the costs of installing central air. A home without central air sounds manageable if you’re buying the home in the fall or winter. But come spring or summer, if it’s hot where you live, having a cool home is essential. Unlike inexpensive wall-units
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How to Keep Pests Out of the Kitchen
No matter how much of a critter lover you may be, pests in your kitchen is never fun. But many consumers are also disinclined to spread poison all over their culinary arena. Below are a handful of natural, poison-free ways to keep those creepy crawlies outside where they belong. Vinegar and oil. No, you’re not
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Costs of Pool Ownership
A backyard pool can look like a lot of fun when you’re house-hunting. Summer days full of swimming and splashing around your pool can be great fun, but sooner or later you’re going to have to face the costs that come with a pool. Here are some of the costs of pool ownership: Maintenance: Before
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Counter Intelligence: Which Countertop Is Right for You?
There are more materials, colors, and patterns available in kitchen countertops than ever before—and since many are close in price, the decision may be even harder. The product testers at Consumer Reports scratched, stained and scorched seven of the leading contenders. What they found may help potential remodelers narrow their choice of materials: No two
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4 Steps to Natural Disaster Preparedness
The past few months have brought the devastation of natural disasters to the forefront, as televisions, newspapers and social media have covered hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and fires up-close and in graphic detail. Those who were not affected thanked their lucky stars and rushed to help those who were by providing physical assistance or donating. But
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Expert Insights: What Are Co-Ops?
Cooperative apartments—known as co-ops—are not really owned by people as real property. Instead, people own shares of stock in the company that owns the building in which they live. But for all practical purposes, the experts say owning a co-op is almost like owning real property. Personal loans to “buy” a co-op apartment are written
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Easy Ways to Donate Your Unwanted Items
A cluttered home can become overwhelming. Instead of dumping your unwanted items in the trash when you’re cleaning the house, donate them to a charity. Donating clothes, furniture and other things is an easy way to help people in need, claim a tax deduction and lessen the load on your local landfill. Here are some
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The Hidden Costs of Owning a Home
Financially, there’s more to buying a home than the purchase price—sometimes much more. After the down payment, and once your closing costs and monthly mortgage payments are added up, it can be easy to forget some of the costly and hidden costs of owning a home. Take these added charges into consideration: Property Taxes Property
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How to Keep Pests Out of the Kitchen
No matter how much of a critter lover you may be, pests in your kitchen is never fun. But many consumers are also disinclined to spread poison all over their culinary arena. Below are a handful of natural, poison-free ways to keep those creepy crawlies outside where they belong. Vinegar and oil. No, you’re not
Read more
How to Clean Your Hardwood Floors
If you’re the proud owner of a hardwood floor, you may be engaged in a constant cleaning battle. Hardwood looks best when it’s buff and gleaming, but with a busy schedule, it can be hard to keep the floors sparkling at all times. Below are a handful of tips for quickly cleaning your wood floors.
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The Best Breeds for First-Time Homeowners
If you’re a first-time homeowner, the odds are good you will soon be ready for the fun and responsibility of owning your first dog. If you’re looking for a pet that suits you and your lifestyle, the pooch experts at Petbreeds.com suggest breeds that are low maintenance, shed minimally, are easily trainable, and get along
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Determining Your Condo Insurance Needs
Buying a condominium can be a smart start to being a homebuyer, without many of the maintenance hassles of owning a detached home. Insurance through the homeowner association, or HOA, covers some areas of the complex, though each homeowner must have their own insurance to cover certain parts of their property and their belongings. Here’s
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The Window of Opportunity
New listings always capture the interest of real estate agents and current buyers, especially when they are well priced. As your local real estate professional, I thought it important to share this infographic with you so you can make the most of your sell window.
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Tips to Remove Stubborn Home Odors
Odors are a huge turnoff for potential homebuyers and can be difficult to remove. The truth is that most homes have some sort of smell to them. Most often, the people who live there don’t even notice. This is especially true of pet odors. Owners become accustomed to their pet’s smell, such as from litter
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6 Ways to Efficiently Declutter Your Home
Does your home look like a storage locker or a pack rat’s dream? If so, it’s time to purge, declutter, and refresh. As your local real estate professional, I want to share with you this insightful infographic on how to efficiently and easily declutter your home. All without feeling overwhelmed, of course.
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Researching a Neighborhood From Far Away
Good public transportation, low crime, schools, nearby hospitals and other factors can help home shoppers decide if a neighborhood is right for them. If you’re planning on moving to a city that’s far away from where you live now, then finding a neighborhood that’s a good fit can be more difficult than driving around a
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Expert Insights: Once I Choose a Contractor, What Items Should Be Covered in the Contract?
According to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, a well-written contract should contain the following information: The contractor’s name, address, telephone and license number, if applicable Details about what will and will not be done A detailed list of materials for the project, including model, brand name and color The approximate start date and
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Expert Insights: Why Buy a Condo?
They are an appealing way to enter the housing market if the cost of a single-family home is out of your reach. Condos are especially popular among single home buyers, empty nesters, and first-time buyers in high-priced housing markets. Unlike a house, condos offer a lifestyle that is free of yard work and exterior maintenance
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Finding Functionality for Every Room
You probably have a room in your house that doesn’t get used much or is just acting as storage for your “extra” stuff. Empty nesters are especially prone to having a bedroom that is no longer used and has become messy and unorganized over time. Rooms like these are an opportunity when selling a house.
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3 Easy Steps to Getting a Home Market Ready
Putting your house on the market requires a delicate balance between staging it for sale while keeping it functional for your lifestyle. Once you’ve staged to clear out the clutter, put some thought into what to do with the essentials: the things you absolutely need while still living in the house—especially in your most-used rooms.
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5 Tips for Making Household Items Last Longer
Buying a home is expensive enough. Filling it up with things you need adds to the cost, and spending more money to replace those things leads to more bills. Extending the lifespan of household items can save you a lot of money in the long run. Here are five tips for making some common household
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Understanding Investment Properties: What You Should Know
Unlike a second home, where a homeowner lives for a portion of the year, an investment property is property that the homeowner uses to generate income, and in most cases, is not occupied by the homeowner at any time. Trying to figure out if your next home falls under second home or investment home status? Ask yourself:
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The Fiduciary Rule Explained
Asking a financial expert if they’re working in your best interest when giving you advice on your retirement account seems like a simple enough question. That question is now getting a little more complicated. Known as the fiduciary rule and set by the Labor Department to take effect in April 2017 — but then delayed by the
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Make the Most of Your Fireplace
One feature that many people look for when buying a home is a fireplace, but not everyone understands what exactly goes into getting a nice fire roaring. Knowing the terms can help. For instance, the fireplace’s flue allows smoke to move through the chimney, and the damper is an opening you can adjust to control
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3 Questions about Interest Rates
If you’re shopping for a home loan, you’re likely focusing on interest rates. Below are a handful of questions you may have about the art of the interest rate. How are interest rates determined?  Interest rates are influenced by shifting economic indicators in your financial market. This type of fluidity means they can change daily,
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Expert Insights: What Is a Bridge Loan?
It is a short-term bank loan of the equity in the home you are selling. You may take out a bridge loan, or interim financing, to help with a knotty situation: closing on the home you are buying before you close on the property you are selling. This loan basically enables you to have a
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4 Ways to Save Money at the Movies
The average movie ticket price is $8.65, according to Box Office Mojo. Add in a soda and some popcorn, and you can easily spend $20 at a theater. For a family or even a couple, a movie night out can be expensive. There are ways to save money at the movies, if you plan ahead. Here
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Questions to Ask Your Financial Adviser if Fiduciary Rule Dies
As if talking to your financial adviser isn’t confusing enough, the possible rollback of the fiduciary rule that requires financial professionals to work in a client’s best interest may make it more complicated. President Trump has told the Labor Department to delay its fiduciary rule until at least June 9, 2017, with some exemptions extending
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Quick Fixes for Your Common Household Problems
It may seem like there’s always something going on as a homeowner, from silencing a squeaky hinge to unclogging a temperamental toilet. But many household problems can be easily fixed without calling a repair service. A can of WD-40, a toilet plunger and a bottle of vinegar are great basics to keep on hand for
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Rent-to-Own: Is It an Option?
Rent-to-own is an alternative to the traditional agreement between homebuyers and sellers. Typically, a buyer presents an offer. Once accepted, the payment, settlement and new ownership takes place. Lease-to-own or rent-to-own does not follow this process. Instead, it allows a renter to become the buyer. This is done through another type of contract agreed upon
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Choose Your Battles When Buying a Home
A fenced-in yard. Double sinks. A wrap-around porch.  An open floor plan. Solar panels. There are just so many things we want our new home to have. However, when shopping for our dream home, it’s essential to steer the dream a little bit more toward reality. No home will have every single feature you desire, so before
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Help Your Pet Transition to a New Home
Moving to a new home can sometimes be hard on children, who must say goodbye to their friends and the place where they grew up. But a move can also be traumatic to your pets. As a caring pet parent, it’s important to make sure that the transition doesn’t harm your four-legged family members. Pets
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Books to teach young readers about money
Reading books to your children is fun, and one of the great joys of parenthood is watching them learn to read by themselves. Lessons about personal finance and how money works can be included in books you read to children, or in books they read with you or on their own. Here are some good
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Expert Insights: How Do I Find Government-Repossessed Properties?
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) acquires properties from lenders who foreclose on mortgages that it insures. These properties are then available for sale to potential homeowner-occupants and investors only through a licensed real estate broker. HUD will pay the broker’s commission up to 6 percent of the sales price. The Department of
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Don’t Let Buyers Meet Your Dust Bunnies
Cleaning is a pretty obvious step to take before putting a house on the market for sale. But have you asked yourself, “how clean is my home?” While you’ve already dusted, vacuumed and cleaned the kitchen counters, it may not be enough. There are many areas you didn’t even think to clean and buyers will take
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Surprising Things Covered by Your Home Insurance
Homeowners insurance is supposed to cover catastrophes such as fires, hurricanes and a tree falling through the roof. But there are some much lesser problems that a typical insurance policy can cover. Here are some of the surprising things covered by many home insurance policies. Check with your insurer first to see if you’re covered
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Expert Insights: Are Home-Selling Costs Deductible?
If you sell your home and realize a taxable gain even after the exclusion, you can reduce your gain with selling costs. Your gain is defined as your home’s selling price, minus deductible closing costs, minus your basis. The basis is the original purchase price of the home, plus improvements, less any depreciation. Real estate
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Expert Insights: How Does a Lease Option Work?
A landlord agrees to give a renter an exclusive option to purchase the property. The option price is usually determined at the outset, but not always, and the agreement states when the purchase should take place—whether, say, six months, or a year or two down the road. A portion of the rent is used to
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The Weekend Is Here 12 | 01 | 2017
Tree Lighting in Historic Folsom December 1st, 2017@ 6:00 PM Admission: Free 915 Sutter St., Folsom Enjoy a holiday magical tree lighting in Historic Folsom where you are invited to help celebrate the lighting of Historic Folsom’s Christmas tree at the Turntable Plaza and Ice Rink.   Download a printable copy of the Weekender here
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Boosting Your Home Security On the Cheap
Even if you can’t afford a home security system, you can protect your home and family with some quick, easy fixes that provide peace of mind without dipping deep into your pockets. Try these tips from HGTV, the home and garden channel: Change the locks – If you haven’t changed the locks since you moved in,
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New Tricks for Old Throwaway Items
For many of us, mom’s ‘use-it-up, make-it-last, wear-it-out’ mantra was our introduction to thriftiness—a traditional value that has largely been kicked to the curb due to a more materialistic lifestyle. But the truth is, most of our common throwaway items have not yet reached their full potential. Here are a few smart re-uses that will
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The Weekend Is Here 11 | 23 | 2017
ThankZoo November 24th, 2017 11:00 AM Admission: $9.95 547 L Street, Sacramento At this time of Thanksgiving celebration, the Zoo’s thoughts turn gratefully to you, our community. As a special thank you everyone will receive child-priced admission the day after Thanksgiving at ThankZoo.   Download a printable copy of the Weekender here
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How Much to Spend on an Engagement Ring
Ask any jeweler how much money you should spend on an engagement ring and they’ll likely give you the jewelry industry’s long-standing rule of thumb—three month’s salary. The average person spends about half that amount, according to Census data. The jewelry industry isn’t recommending three months of pay after taxes, but three months of gross
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5 Tips for Making Health Savings Accounts Work for You
Putting money in a Health Savings Account, or HSA, can help you and your family pay for health expenses now and in the future, while giving you a tax break for your contributions. HSAs have been around since 2003 to help people with high-deductible health plans, but they can still be confusing. Here are some
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How a Small House Can Save You Money
The average square footage of a house in the United States has increased from 1,660 square feet in 1973 to 2,392 in 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That can be a lot of area to clean each week. A smaller house of 1,000 square feet or a tiny house of 500 square feet can
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The Weekend Is Here 11 | 17 | 2017
Sacramento Harvest Festival November 17th – 19th, 2017@ 10:00 AM Admission: $4 – $9 1600 Exposition Blvd, Sacramento The Harvest Festival is known as the largest indoor arts and crafts show on the West Coast and offers a full weekend of shopping, live entertainment and family fun. Download a printable version of the Weekender here
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Understanding Investment Properties: What You Should Know
Unlike a second home, where a homeowner lives for a portion of the year, an investment property is property that the homeowner uses to generate income, and in most cases, is not occupied by the homeowner at any time. Trying to figure out if your next home falls under second home or investment home status? Ask yourself:
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The Weekend Is Here 11 | 10 | 2017
Sacramento Coffee Beerfest November 10th, 2017@ 6:00 PM Admission: $15 – $30 Buy Tickets 2837 36th Street, Sacramento Over 20 commercial craft breweries from the West Coast will be present at this event, each brewery will bring a keg of their specialty coffee beer and a keg of any other non-coffee beer for participants to
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4 Ways to Save Money at the Movies
The average movie ticket price is $8.65, according to Box Office Mojo. Add in a soda and some popcorn, and you can easily spend $20 at a theater. For a family or even a couple, a movie night out can be expensive. There are ways to save money at the movies, if you plan ahead. Here
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Origami isn’t the Only Paper Art
Look around your home. How much paper do you see? And how much of it do you actually need? If you own a home, loose papers like bills, mailings, flyers, greeting cards, coupons, newspapers and magazines can pile up. We often hesitate to throw them away in case important paperwork lies between the bundles of
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Six Simple Ways to Increase Home Efficiency
More and more people are looking for ways to increase their home’s energy efficiency—both to conserve energy for the good of our environment and to lower energy costs. The good news, environmentalists tell us, is that there are many ways to accomplish both goals without spending a great deal of money. From a panel of
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