10 Spring Break Staycations At Home

If you're like most people, you're probably trying to save money these days, by eating out less, cutting coupons and putting off big-ticket item purchases. That also means you might stay home for spring break this year because you simply can't spend the money. The good news is that you and your kids can still enjoy a fun spring break at home. You've heard of the "staycation," and we've got some ideas for yours. Backyard Camping Set up tents in the backyard and have a backyard camping trip! Pack up your sleeping bags, fire up the grill, and grab a couple of flashlights and lawn chairs. Don't let anyone back in the house -- except to use the bathroom, of course. And leave your laptops, cell ph

Special Interest Home Incentives for Single Moms Make Homeownership a Reality for Many

It almost goes without saying that taking care of a family on one person’s income can be burdensome. For this reason, single mothers may feel tempted to just focus on paying the bills each month. Single mothers don’t need to reduce their dreams to merely consisting of short-term goals. This is particularly true when it comes to owning a family home. Various special interest home incentives for single mothers will help make the dream of an affordable home a reality. Federal Housing Association (FHA) Loans and Rural Loans FHA loans are a great resource for moms looking for a good interest rate on a home purchase. With only a 3.5% down payment, moms receive a 96.5% mortgage loan. FHA loan terms

Top 5 Reasons To Buy vs. Rent

For many people, owning a home makes more sense financially and from a lifestyle perspective than renting a home. Below are the top reasons people buy instead of rent. 1. You Can Do Anything You Want With the Property Owning your home means you can paint your kid’s room any color you want, you can change your floors from carpet to wood, and you can put a new chandelier in the dining room without asking a landlord for permission. And sometimes, making these home improvements will increase the value of your property. 2. Appreciation Benefits, Including Leverage of Cash Invested Owning a home is an investment many people can understand better than buying stocks, because they get the tangible da

13 Things You Need to Do After You Move

After the last box is moved into your new home, you might think the hardest part of the move is over. And you're right. But that doesn't mean there aren't things you need to do when you move once you're in the new space. In fact, there's a lot of stuff that needs to get done before you can relax completely. Check Major Appliances If you moved major appliances, such as a stove, dishwasher, washer or dryer, check to make sure all appliances and electronics are working to ensure nothing was damaged during the move. This is particularly true if the mover prepared your appliances for the move. Your insurance policy may have a limited time in which to make a claim. Since these are big ticket items

Every Community Needs a Main Street

Does your community have a “Main Street”? If so, what sets it apart from other streets? Why should a community have a “Main Street”? As argued in the Main Street Handbook, Main Streets help define a community so that a neighborhood or city can develop a unique identity within a larger regional context. Main streets are also fertile grounds for small businesses to grow. And, as an added benefit, they are efficient in reducing the amount of automobile traffic in the area. Until recently, every city or town had a Main Street, or center of town, where residents and visitors could find a wide range of goods and services. They were located on a main thoroughfare and were the main area for cond

5 Best Areas To Live In Orange County

Neighborhoods can seem to take off at random, but a careful observer sees the signs before the general population does. Orange County has somewhat unique characteristics in that you might consider it the suburbs of L.A. or San Diego, but still has plenty of personality, charm and events to stand entirely on its own. It's no wonder the home prices have consistently risen over the past few years. It's worth keeping in mind that it will be difficult to find a safe neighborhood here that could be considered inexpensive, although price will always be relative. There are very few secrets in an area that has gained so much recent attention. 1. Santa Ana Specifically, downtown or near the artists vi

7 Ways to Make Your Bedroom Feel Like a Boutique Hotel

You don't have to spend hundreds of dollars or hop on a plane to experience the magic of your favorite hotel room. There are a few easy things you can do to recreate the same luxurious vibe in your own bedroom...and it all starts with the sheets. Luxe Sheets The easiest way to snazz up your bedroom is to outfit your bed with a gorgeous set of sheets. To keep the hotel room look, go for a crisp, white set of sheets that are at least 300 thread count. Hotel rooms tend to use sateen or percale sheets, but you should choose the material that feels most comfortable to you. If you want to splurge, you can have your sheets professionally laundered, so they come home nice and pressed. And if you fin

Using A 401(k) Loan For A Home Down Payment

While the vast majority of Americans would like to own a home, nearly 70 percent of potential buyers feel that a down payment is the greatest obstacle to making that a dream a reality. If you’re in that camp, you may have considered borrowing against the balance of your employer sponsored retirement account to cover the upfront cost of a home. Using a 401(k) loan for a down payment can be an attractive option, but it’s important to understand the potential risks before making the decision to take one on. How a 401(k) loan works According to the Employee Benefits Research Institute, 53 percent of 401(k) plans include a loan provision that allows participants to borrow against their savings. W

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