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Today’s Home Spun Wisdom Archive


How to Eliminate Third Party Settlement Costs

(MCT)—In a recent article I proposed that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac be removed from limbo and given a new mission: to create a better primary mortgage market. Among other things, this would include the elimination of third party settlement ...


5 Strategies to Ensure Family Business Success

Non-family businesses can learn a lot from family businesses, says Henry Hutcheson, a certified Family Business Advisor and founder of Family Business USA consultancy. ...


Your Office Coach: How to Deal with an Overtly Hostile Employee

(MCT)—Q: One of my employees refuses to accept me as his supervisor. Ever since I was transferred into this department, “Jack” has been extremely rude. He argues with me about everything and talks about how much he misses his former boss. He frequently makes these comments ...


Living Smart: Choose the Right Flooring for Rooms that Get Wet

(MCT)—Flooring is a foundational facet of any home project. But when the room you’re upgrading is prone to spills and splashes and the chance of leaks or flooding, carpet isn’t an ideal choice. ...


Getting Started: How Young People Should Save for Retirement

(MCT)—How much do you need to save for retirement? ...


As Winter Gets Closer, Time to Organize the Garage

(MCT)--With fall here and winter on its way, it might be time to straighten out the garage, so you can at least find the snow shovels when you need them. ...


The 5 C’s for Building a Successful Business

Small businesses have made a huge recovery since the economic crash in 2008 and that’s good news for all of us. Since we account for 63 percent of new jobs, our success puts people back to work. ...


Edibles for Small Spaces: Berry Bushes Move to the Patio

(MCT)—The evolution of the berry bush continues. Once large and untamed, berry bushes are becoming smaller and are now being adapted for new uses, including as ornamentals. ...


Living Smart: Should You Do Your Own Garage-Door Maintenance?

(MCT)—It’s easy to ignore your garage door. But it’s a bad idea, because a broken overhead door is more than a hassle. It’s a danger. ...


The Mortgage Professor: Conventional Versus FHA: which Should You Choose?

(MCT)—Choosing between a conventional and Federal Housing Authority-backed mortgage is not an academic question. My calculations show that the wrong choice can cost as much as $33,000 over 15 years on a $200,000 loan, and as much as $66,000 on a $400,000 loan. ...


Buying a Home from a Foreign Seller? Don’t Forget FIRPTA!

Recently, I talked about the growing number of multicultural home buyers entering the American Real Estate market. But there is also some very important information American buyers need to heed if they are buying a home from a foreign owner. ...


Now Is the Time to Book Cheap Holiday Flights

(MCT)—People planning to fly during the Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday should book their flights soon or face paying steeper prices or losing out on seats, according to travel experts. ...


Know When to Hold or Pitch Common Household Items

Every few weeks, I decide whether it's time to pitch out certain household items. While many things we use around the home including most food items have expiration dates, are they really a valid indicator that the item in question is obsolete? ...


Your Place: Necessary to Redo Attic Spray Foam after 4 Years?

(MCT)—Question: I had our attic spray-foamed in 2010. Our HVAC contractor recently did a semiannual service. The technician came down from the attic, where he was checking the air handler, and he was wringing wet with sweat. ...


Putting a Garden to Bed for the Winter Requires Special Tools

(MCT)—Even if you’re tending to the same garden, you’ll need different tools in the fall. “In the fall, you’re putting the garden to bed, so it’s important to have large multipurpose tools to work the soil,” says Maree Gaetani, director of gardening ...


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