Gunning Daily News

Word of the Day

February 15, 2012 6:02 pm

Air rights. Right to occupy and use the open space above a parcel of land or property, such as in the leasing of air space over existing buildings or highways.

Question of the Day

February 15, 2012 6:02 pm

Q: How much, on average, can I expect to spend on home maintenance?

A: Expect to spend one percent of the purchase price of your home every year to handle a myriad of tasks, including painting, tree trimming, repairing gutters, caulking windows, and routine system repairs and maintenance.

An older home will usually require more maintenance, although a lot will depend on how well it has been maintained over the years.

Tell yourself that the upkeep of your home is mandatory, and budget accordingly. Otherwise, your home’s value will suffer if you allow it to fall into a state of disrepair. Remember, there is usually a direct link between a property’s condition and its market value: The better its condition, the more a buyer will likely pay for it down the road.

Also, adopt the attitude that the cost of good home maintenance is usually minor compared to what it will cost to remedy a situation that you allowed to get out of hand. For example, unclogging and sealing gutters may cost a few hundred dollars. But repairing damage to a corner of your home where gutters have leaked can potentially cost several thousands dollars.

Raising Children with Gratitude

February 14, 2012 5:48 pm

Teaching your children gratitude is one of the most important things you can do, raising the next generation to be compassionate, understanding and gracious.

“The hand-written thank-you note may have gone the way of the Dodo, but the need to tell other people “thank you” has not gone out of style,” writes Dr. Patricia Nan Anderson, a nationally-recognized parenting expert and author of “Parenting: A Field Guide.”

“If your children don’t know how to express thanks to folks who’ve been nice to them, or if they don’t realize that they need to express thanks to someone, then the time to teach this all-important life skill is now.”

The following tips and suggestions about raising thankful children are from Anderson, published in a recent article on www.swparents.com.

Saying ‘Thank You’ Out Loud

We all know that “please” and “thank you” are among a toddler’s first words. By the time a child enters preschool, saying thank you should be automatic. You teach this and re-teach it by saying “please” and “thank you” yourself…and by prompting your child to say these on her own. You reinforce polite behavior with more polite behavior and you model what you want to see. Right?

But there is an art to saying thank you for a gift. A child should look directly at the giver and say “thank you” as enthusiastically as possible. There is no need to say “this is just what I wanted” but a child may say “this is the wrong color!” or “I don’t like this!” or “I hate books!”

This means that before an exciting gift-receiving event (before the start of your child’s birthday party or before a holiday present-opening), you review with your preschooler, school-age child, and older kid how to say thank you and how to see value in every gift, even the gifts of socks and underwear. Make the gift-opening event go slowly enough to pause to appreciate every single present: opening gifts should not look like a race. If a child gets so excited he forgets to be polite, that’s the time to take a break from the presents and open the rest later. No need to be angry, just stop the action and resume the gift-opening in a little while.

Sometimes the giver is not in the room. If your child is old enough to carry on a conversation on the telephone and speaks clearly enough to be understood by the person she’s calling, then thanks can be made by phone. The script goes something like this: “Thanks so much for the ____. I really like the color/model/size/whatever. I’m going to use it/play with it right away.” Short and sweet. Rehearse before dialing the phone if you need to.

Saying ‘Thank You’ in Writing
As soon as your child hits preschool – maybe even younger – dictating thank you notes to givers who live a distance away should be part of getting a gift. These thank you notes can be on paper, of course, but a text message or email is okay too. If your child needs some help with the dictation, use the phone script as a guide. If the child can sign his name, he should do that.

Children who can write should craft their own written thank yous. Kids might need help with spelling and you might want to review what’s been read to make sure it really does express thanks. A picture the child has drawn adds nicely to this thank you note. The older the child, the more writing is needed. A note should not seem dashed off with minimal attention and should not seem like a form letter. It must be personalized and sincere.

Don’t Let the Sun Set without Saying Thank You
Saying thank you should come before the end of the day. If your child received a book or toy, the phone call, email, or note should be accomplished before going to bed that night. Writing these notes makes for a nice reflection and is a great way to wind down from a party. Kids who receive gift cards or money may absolutely not spend these until after the thank yous are sent. Make thank yous a house rule and part of the routine of getting a gift.

Finally, a Word for Givers
We all want to be thanked. We’ve spent time and money making or buying and sending our gifts. We wait anxiously to see if we guessed right about what the child would like. We wait for an acknowledgement of our kindness and care. We want some love to come back our way.

So it’s natural to feel sad when thanks isn’t forthcoming. We have to decide if we feel so sad that we don’t want to risk giving again and experiencing more sadness, or if giving even without thanks gives us pleasure enough to keep on. What’s not okay is to blame the child (or even the child’s parents) for our sadness. Lay no guilt trips. Just decide what makes you most happy and do that next time.
And, by the way, thank you for reading this.

Dr. Patricia Nan Anderson is a nationally-recognized parenting expert and author of Parenting: A Field Guide. Learn more about Patricia on her website at www.patricianananderson.com.

Source: www.swparents.com

Hot Home Maintenance Trend: New Rechargeable Mower

February 14, 2012 5:48 pm

Eco-friendly appliances have been popular inside homes for the past several years. But with spring around the corner, the Energy Star rated Recharge Mower G2 may be one of the hottest lawn-care trends of 2012.

With no chokes, belts, oil changes, filters or gas needed, homeowners can simply charge this mower up, enabling it to cut up to 2 acres on a single charge. By avoiding the ongoing service issues inherent to gas mowers, the Recharge Mower G2 can consumers time, money, and stress.

Spruce up your lawn for your next party or showing. Spend more time enjoying the warm weather this year, and less time fiddling with your mower. “Manicuring your lawn is what a riding mower is designed to do”, says President Allan Hechtman. “The Recharge Mower G2 is built for users and not mechanics.”

Source: http://www.rechargemower.com

Word of the Day

February 14, 2012 5:48 pm

Agent. Person authorized to act by and on behalf of another.

Question of the Day

February 14, 2012 5:48 pm

Q: Are there different types of contractors?

A: Home improvement professionals vary. Who you hire also will depend largely on the size and complexity of your project. What follows is a brief description of the different contractors who do work for homeowners:

- General contractors – they manage all facets of the project, including hiring and supervising subcontractors, obtaining building permits, scheduling inspections, and working with architects and designers.
- Specialty contractors – these are the folks who install products, such as cabinets, bathroom fixtures, and bookshelves.
- Architects – they design homes, additions, and major renovations.
- Design/build contractors – they offer one-stop service and will see your project through from start to finish.

Will Mortgage Settlement Be too Late for Many American Homeowners?

February 14, 2012 4:48 pm

The entire media circuit was abuzz early this week with news of the mortgage settlement deal between state attorneys general and five major banks. The settlement, valued at $26 million, aims to provide financial relief to one million struggling homeowners.

What has not been mentioned this week is how to help the thousands of Americans that are facing the threat of foreclosure right now.

"While the proposed deal may provide some measure of redress to borrowers who have lost their homes, it will not be returning their homes to them," says The Mortgage Law Group attorney, Kelly Sibert. "Nor does the deal serve to address the threat of foreclosure that millions of Americans in default currently face."

The deal will be carried out over a three-year period, but for those in need of immediate assistance, that will be too late, the group stated. The Mortgage Law Group strongly encourages anyone struggling with a mortgage to address their problem promptly in order to yield the best results.

"We hope that the nation's mortgage lenders will begin moving more aggressively toward putting homeowners into mortgages they can afford," Sibert concludes. "This would have a substantial effect of helping to stem the current mortgage crisis."

Source: www.themortgagelawgroup.com.

Top 3 Tips to Protect Yourself from Mobile Malware

February 14, 2012 4:48 pm

Mobile malware is becoming a bigger problem every day. Especially now, considering some Americans use their phones more than their computers. Putting a stop to mobile malware isn't that easy.

What is malware? It's essentially viruses or programs that can wreak havoc on your phone. Malware can cause lags and system errors, and can introduce worms and trojans to your system. In short: you don't want malware on your phone.

Here are some simple tips and tricks to help you fight malware problems.

Malware Tip No. 1: Check app reviews before you download.
If you're an Android user, you should be cautious. There seems to be a growing number of malware targeted toward Android devices. That means you should be wary about downloading or installing applications that you've never heard of, or that don't have good reviews. See what other customers are saying about the app before you download. It can help you avoid a virus.

Also try to avoid clicking on suspicious links when browsing the web.

Malware Tip No. 2: Disable Bluetooth when you're not using it.
Be careful if you use Bluetooth on your phone. If you're walking around with Bluetooth enabled, your phone could be ripe for a hacker to swoop in. In some cases, individuals can find all the information on their phone stolen due to an open Bluetooth connection. So it may be prudent to simply remember to turn your Bluetooth off when you're not using it.

Malware Tip No. 3: Update your phone's OS.

Sometimes updating your phone's OS can help you combat malware. This is because developers are often trying to upgrade features with new releases. They are also probably trying to work on fixing any security loopholes.

Knowing that mobile malware exists is an essential first step. The next step is to take preventative measures to stop mobile malware from infiltrating your phone. With these steps in mind, hopefully your phone will remain virus-free.

Source: www.findlaw.com

Auction Etiquette: Bidding on Government-Owned Property

February 13, 2012 5:10 pm

In our previous segment, I began focusing on the availability of government-owned real estate opportunities. Did you know that the fed is the single largest owner of real property in the United States?

If you are a citizen looking to purchase Federal real estate, the federal Government Services Administration (GSA) Office of Real Property Utilization and Disposal stands ready to handle your Federal real estate acquisition, utilization and disposal needs.

According to the GSA, there are several ways consumers can begin bidding on government-owned real estate. The agency has three commonly used methods for conducting public sales of surplus Federal real property: online auction, public auction, and sealed bid.

In each, if the highest bid is acceptable and represents the fair market value of the property, an award is usually made. GSA reserves the right to act in the Government’s best interest when reviewing all bids. Therefore, the highest bid may not always be accepted.

Properties available via online auction are advertised on the Internet at www.realestatesales.gov and www.govsales.gov. An online auction allows the bidder to conduct all bidding activities, including submitting the bid deposit and increasing bids, online. Bidders bid against each other on the website until a designated date. The highest bidder is declared once the auction officially closes.

Public auctions are conducted in a conventional “live outcry” auction setting with an auctioneer at a specific date and time. Bidders register, submit the bid deposit, and bid openly against each other until the highest bidder is declared.

Sealed Bids and bid deposits may be mailed in to the specified GSA regional office prior to the designated bid opening date and time. All bids are publicly opened on the bid opening date. After the public opening, no bids may be modified. The highest bidder is declared shortly after the auction officially closes.
The Invitation for Bid or IFB package distributed for a particular property will indicate all bidding procedures and any special conditions that apply regarding the sale of the property. Bidders should carefully inspect the property being offered for sale prior to bidding.

And let the buyer beware—all properties are sold on an “as is, where is” basis, and all bids are final once submitted.

Last Minute V-Day Tips Keep Your Wallet and Your Valentine Happy

February 13, 2012 5:10 pm

Been so busy you haven’t had a chance to get a gift for your sweetie? Is your budget cramping your romantic style this year? The following tips can help.
1. Buy a single rose instead of a dozen. It’s just as beautiful on its own. Accompany it with a heartfelt note.
2. Skip the restaurant and cook for your sweetie. It’s more thoughtful, and intimate.
3. Skip the pricey store-bought sweets and whip up cookies or cake yourself.
4. Create a playlist of meaningful music and present it to your Valentine, “mixed-tape” style.
5. Write your own card. Store-bought cards may seem appealing, but creating your own card takes genuine thought and effort, and that’s what romance is all about.