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Today’s Home Spun Wisdom Archive


Debt Adviser: When Does Old Debt Fall off Credit Report?

(MCT)—Question: How do I find out the timeline on my debt? I know after six or seven years the debt is taken off. I would like to know if there is a way to see whether it is gone. ...


Save Money by Paying off Mortgage Early

(MCT)—Paying off your mortgage might sound like an ambitious New Year’s resolution, especially if you have recently refinanced into a 30-year term. But it’s still smart for homeowners to give some serious thought as to how ...


Your Place: Advice on Appliance Repair, Replacement

(MCT)—Time out from answering questions, to provide some useful information. ...


Living Smart: Radon

(MCT)--There’s a chance your home contains elevated levels of an odorless, colorless radioactive gas that is the country’s second-leading cause of lung cancer. ...


Balancing Act: Working with ‘Mindfulness’ Reduces Stress in the Workplace

(MCT)—A few years ago, when Miami attorney Paul Singerman received a hostile email from opposing counsel, he would react with an immediate terse response. Not anymore. “The first thing I do is nothing,” he explained. Then, he said, he takes a deep ...


Trashed Online? Act Quickly to Protect Your Reputation

(MCT)—It can take a long time—if ever—to undo damage caused by comments on the Internet. Scathing posts can tarnish reputations for individuals and businesses, and the snarkiest stuff can go viral before you know about it. ...


Loving an Old House that Doesn’t Love You Back

(MCT)—My dad warned me long ago about unrequited love. ...


Spending Smart: What Light Bulb Technology Should You Use?

(MCT)—Would a savvy consumer rather pay 40 cents for a light bulb, or $1.75 or $10? ...


Price Transparency Key to Expanding Reverse-Mortgage Market

(MCT)—My last column discussed some modest initiatives my colleagues and I have taken to help enlarge the market for home equity conversion mortgages, or HECMs. These included a monograph on matching HECM options to senior needs, a senior-friendly calculator showing the ...


Your Place: Keeping Indoor Humidity at a Pleasant Level

(MCT)--Q: My daughter and her 5-year-old sleep in a bedroom with a hardwood floor, filled with clothing and stuffed animals. She recently added a small table-top air filter and a humidifier that she activates every night, putting a half-gallon of water ...


“Can We Talk?” Four Tips for Delivering Bad News

Bad news is no fun to deliver. That’s why even distinguished leaders and otherwise successful people will go to great lengths to avoid doing it. For example, you might tolerate a longstanding, but mediocre, vendor instead of giving the contract to another ...


Want Dream Home? Don’t Move—Renovate

David Shanks longed for a bigger house. A roomy kitchen was on the list—he loved to cook and had a hard time whipping up specialties for his wife and two daughters in their old narrow one. ...


How to Safeguard Your New Electronic Presents

(MCT)—If you received a tablet, computer or a new phone this holiday, you’re not alone. This year, tech gifts were expected to top a third of all holiday wish lists, according to the National Retail Federation. ...


Real Estate Q&A: Lien Filed against Wrong Homeowner

(MCT)—QUESTION: I recently learned that a company mistakenly filed a lien against our home. It’s clear that the company did not even check for accuracy. I contacted the firm, and it released the lien, but without written explanation. My wife and I ...


Living Smart: Basement Waterproofing Methods

(MCT)—Waterfalls and water fountains soothe the soul. Water in your basement stirs up anguish. ...