Gunning Daily News

Word of the Day

July 10, 2013 8:40 pm

Right of first refusal.  A person’s right to have the first opportunity to either lease or purchase real property.

 


Save Money and Do Good with Reusable Containers

July 9, 2013 6:26 pm

(BPT)—Even as the country moves out of the great recession, many Americans are still in a money-saving mode - looking to conserve wherever possible. Good news. There are simple ways to save money especially if you go back to the time-honored concept of BYO - "bringing your own" container of coffee, lunch or water as part of your daily routine. This can do a world of good not only for your pocketbook, but also for the environment, and even your health. Here are some tips to get you started:

Bring your own coffee or tea

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans throw away 25 billion foam cups each year. And 500 years from now, those cups will still be sitting in a landfill. Despite the convenience of foam cups, small changes such as bringing coffee or tea in a reusable container can have both an environmental and economic impact.

Bring your own lunch

Many grownups still have fond memories of a school lunchbox featuring their favorite TV or movie character. Bringing your own lunch in an insulated lunch carrier is a good way to keep your favorite foods fresh and tasty, and a smart way to save money. According to a report in Time magazine, bringing your lunch to work can cut your weekly costs by 80 percent. To keep foods fresh while on the go, insulated reusable containers are an ideal option. They come in all shapes and sizes to keep snacks or lunch foods hot or cold for hours, saving you the cost of going out and making it easier to stay away from unhealthy temptations.

Keep yourself hydrated

As you get in the habit of bringing your own reusable portable container, don't neglect the one thing every human needs for basic good health - water - to help you hydrate throughout the day. According to the Mayo Clinic, water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight. Lack of appropriate water intake can lead to dehydration, draining your energy and making you feel tired. The Institute of Medicine determined that adequate water intake for men is roughly 104 ounces and is roughly 72 ounces for women. Instead of purchasing bottled water in containers that will also end up in landfills, bring plenty of your own water in a portable, reusable container. One easy option for quenching thirst while on the go is the 24 oz. Hydration Bottle with Meter that is made of BPA-free Eastman(TM) Tritan and has a rotating meter built into the lid to help keep track of your daily water consumption. Embracing the bring-your-own mentality can make a world of difference economically and environmentally.


Time to Make A Splash? Keep Your Kids Safe in the Water

July 9, 2013 6:26 pm

Summer is the time for swimming, be it at the beach, lake, or pool. However, you want your kids to stay safe while having fun making a splash. The following tips, provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics, can help you stay safe and accident-free.

  • All caregivers should learn CPR.
  • Never leave a toy in or around a pool.
  • Never leave children alone in or near a bathtub, even for a minute. There are no "bath seats" that are proven be safe and not result in drownings.
  • Never leave children alone in or near the pool; this includes inflatable and other children's pools. An adult should be within arm's length, providing "touch supervision."
  • Swimming lessons are recommended for children ages 1-4 years. New studies suggest that these children may be less likely to drown if they have had swimming lessons. Teaching your child how to swim DOES NOT guarantee your child is safe in water.
  • Make sure there is a telephone by the pool in case of an emergency.
  • If you use an inflatable or plastic pool, make sure you dump the water out of the pool after each use and turn the pool upside down when finished.
  • Install a fence at least four-feet high around all four sides of the pool. Four-sided fences can cut the drowning risk in half. Pool covers and pool alarms are not a substitute for fencing.
  • Make sure pool gates self-close and self-latch at a height small children can't reach.
  • Keep rescue equipment nearby, including a shepherd's hook (a long pole with a hook on the end) and a life preserver.
  • Avoid inflatable swimming aids such as "floaties." They are not a substitute for approved life vests and can give children a false sense of security.
  • Teach children to never run, push or jump on others around water.
  • Teach children never to swim alone.
  • Counsel teenagers about the increased risk of drowning when alcohol is involved.

Source: www.cincinnatichildrens.org.

 


Simple, Helpful Kitchen Tips

July 9, 2013 6:26 pm

(Family Features)--So much of life happens in the kitchen – from hurried morning breakfasts to after-school snacks with the kids – it’s likely to be the most travelled room of the home.

Unfortunately, all this activity in one room can cause many messes and much required upkeep. By following a few simple steps, you can keep this important space tidy, clean and smelling great.

Here are some simple tips to keep your kitchen clean and inviting:

Add Some Citrus

Does your garbage disposal have an uninviting stench? Here’s one simple solution – use orange or lemon peels to freshen the drain or disposal. Simply run cool water from your faucet, turn on the disposal, throw in the peels and take in the fresh citrus scent. This is a perfect way to use old fruit that is no longer good enough to eat.

Make Dishes Sparkle

Dirty plates, pots, pans, glasses and utensils pile up quickly in busy kitchens. Get dishes sparkling clean with a dish liquid that leaves your hands feeling touchably soft. In a recent survey conducted by Kelton, 33 percent of those who wash dishes by hand said their skin is usually dry afterwards.

Keep Up With Countertops

The kitchen countertop is the easiest place to collect a mess so it’s important to keep it tidy. Because so many countertops are made with fine woods, stones and other specialty materials, it is important to know what cleaning products you can use on them so they keep their beautiful appearance. In general, avoid abrasive cleaners and never use steel wool or other harsh brushes which can scratch the surface. Invest in protectors such as trivets for hot cookware, or trays for oil bottles and other cooking items that keep permanent residence on countertop space.

Love Your Oven

Ovens are often the most neglected appliance in the kitchen. Open them up to find baked-on spills, burnt-on food, as well as splatters covering the exterior. Be sure you’re giving your oven the maintenance it needs by cleaning it at least once each season. Whether you’re using a homemade cleaning concoction or a heavy-duty store-bought brand, it is important to scour every nook and cranny. Also, give attention to the range top and ensure all extra food debris has been removed and cleaned.

Source: www.palmolive.com

 


Word of the Day

July 9, 2013 6:26 pm

Multiple listing. Agreement that allows real estate brokers to distribute information on the properties they have listed for sale to other members of a local real estate organization.  Allows the widest possible marketing of those properties.  Commissions are split by mutual agreement between the listing broker and the selling broker.

 


Q: What is an unsecured loan?

July 9, 2013 6:26 pm

A: The interest rates on these loans are often higher than on secured loans and you generally will not be able to get a tax deduction for the interest paid.  However, the costs to obtain an unsecured loan are usually lower. And the relative ease of getting this type of loan makes it popular for small projects costing $10,000 or less. The lender evaluates applications based on credit history and income.


How to Prepare for Unexpected Home Repairs

July 8, 2013 2:12 pm

One of the most challenging aspects of homeownership is the unexpected added costs. When calculating monthly expenses to maintain a home, it's important to include not only everyday costs such as mortgage payments, utilities and property taxes, but also to factor in possible home repair expenses. Some of the most common home repairs are done on plumbing fixtures, patios, fences and driveways, heating and air conditioning systems, and painting the interior or exterior of your home.

Keeping your home in good working order can add value to a home; however, it's crucial that homeowners plan ahead for costs associated with unexpected repairs. Contributing small amounts regularly to an emergency fund for maintenance and repairs can go a long way in preparing for unforeseen expenses.

By adding in the cost of a reserve fund to the monthly household budget, homeowners can prevent a financial blow from unplanned additional costs.

BMO Harris Bank offers the following financial tips to homeowners looking to make home repairs:

  • Understand how a renovation will impact the value of your home by researching which renovations create increased value and are popular selling features.
  • Think long term when making financial decisions -- whether you are using savings or borrowing to renovate, take the time to meet with a financial expert to ensure your renovation meets your long term financial objectives.
  • Expect the unexpected -- be financially prepared for the unexpected such as a leaky roof, broken pipe or other course corrections that may occur during the project.
  • Get renovation quotes in writing and understand what guarantees they provide – for example, if the cost of the plumbing in your renovation is more work than expected, will the quote go up?

Although no one has a crystal ball to foresee what repairs you may encounter during the time you own your home, financially preparing for the unexpected is a smart move.

Source: www.bmoharris.com/helpfulsteps




Word of the Day

July 8, 2013 2:12 pm

Property tax deductions. The Internal Revenue Service allows homeowners to claim as itemized personal deductions money paid for state and local realty taxes, as well as interest on debt secured by their homes.  It also allows for the deduction of loan prepayment penalties, and the deduction of points on new loans.


Q: What are co-ops?

July 8, 2013 2:12 pm

A: 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 almost like mortgages. And the IRS treats co-op owners much like real property owners.  They can deduct interest paid on their apartment loans and on their portion of the municipal taxes and mortgage interest paid by the corporation.


Got A High Interest FHA Loan? Maybe It's Time To Streamline

July 8, 2013 1:12 pm

These days, many of us are looking to pinch every penny we can.

So I read with interest a recent post by Dan Green, a loan officer who blogs on themortgagereports.com, writing about the FHA Streamline Refinance program.

Green says the FHA Streamline Refinance is a special mortgage product, reserved for homeowners with existing FHA mortgages. He  believes FHA Streamline Refinances are the fastest, simplest way for FHA-insured homeowners to refinance their respective mortgages.

The FHA Streamline Refinance program's defining characteristic is that it does not require a home appraisal. Instead, the FHA will allow homeowners to use their original purchase price as the home's current value, regardless of what it is actually worth today.

Green says for  the FHA Streamline Refinance program, the agency does not care if you are underwater on your mortgage. Rather, the program encourages underwater mortgages.

Even if you owe twice what your home is now worth, the FHA will refinance your home without added cost or penalty. This "appraisal waiver" has been a huge hit with U.S. homeowners, allowing unlimited loan-to-value (LTV) home loans.

Beyond this "no appraisal" feature, however, the FHA Streamline Refinance behaves very much like any other loan product. It's available as a fixed rate or adjustable mortgage; it comes as a 15- or 30-year term; and there's no FHA prepayment penalty to worry about.

Another big plus, Green says, is that FHA mortgage rates are the same in the FHA Streamline Refinance as with a "regular" FHA loans. There's no penalty for being underwater, or for having very little equity, and homeowners find they qualify very easily for the program.

Earlier this decade, in an effort to help U.S. homeowners, the FHA abolished most of the typical verifications required to get a mortgage. So, Green says, there's no need for a home appraisal, you can be out-of-work, without income, carry a declining credit rating and have no home equity.

Yet, he says, you can still be approved for an FHA Streamline Refinance. Learn more at http://www.fha.com/fha_streamline_refinance.