Gunning Daily News

Word of the Day

September 26, 2011 5:09 pm

Word of the Day

Installment payment. Periodic payment, usually monthly, of interest and principal on a mortgage or other loan.

Question of the Day

September 26, 2011 5:09 pm

Q: What causes a foreclosure?

A: A lender decides to foreclosure, or repossess, a property when the owner fails to pay the mortgage. Unfortunately, thousands of homes end up in foreclosure every year.

Many people lose their homes due to job loss, credit problems, divorce, unexpected expenses, and during periods of economic instability.

Failure to pay property taxes may also cause a homeowner to lose his home. Trouble can also arise when owners neglect to pay local water bills and home insurance premiums.

Legitimate Work-from-Home Jobs: Tips for Avoiding Scams and Making a Few Bucks at Home

September 23, 2011 4:09 pm

Someone once said, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." When it comes to earning money at home, there is no doubt about it. 

Legitimate ways to work from home require preparation, expertise in a particular field, and/or a level of commitment, such as getting a license. Ads promising pay for little or no expertise, such as stuffing envelopes or telemarketing, are very often scams. In no case should you be asked to pay up-front money.
But working from home holds definite appeal, and the opportunities are out there for enterprising men and women who are willing to research and prepare. From a panel of formerly employed moms who operate home-based businesses, here are some tips on what they do and how they do it: 

Child care. Caring for other children is a natural answer for those who want to stay at home with their own kids. But licensing laws are strict, as are home and backyard requirements. Check with your City Hall for information on preparing for a career in home child care. 

Writing and editing. Freelance writers, editors and artists are used by any number of magazines, newspapers and publishing companies. If—and only if—you have experience and demonstrated communication skills, check with editors you have worked with in the past and ask for recommendations.
Transcription and typing. For skilled typists and transcribers, especially for those with some medical knowledge, work may be available from local hospitals, colleges and doctor's offices. Post notices in college student union halls, and ask your doctor's office or hospital about the possibility of doing medical transcription. 

Accounting or bookkeeping. Experienced bookkeepers may find part-time but steady work opportunities from any number of local businesses who can't afford full-time help. It will take some footwork, but make the rounds to introduce yourself and your skills. 

Sell items you create. Take stock of your handiwork. If you make birdhouses, create lovely wind chimes, or bake attractive breads, cupcakes or cookies, look for restaurants or retail outlets willing to take your stock on consignment.

Do-It-Yourself Interior Painting - Like Money in the Bank?

September 23, 2011 4:09 pm

Trying to decide whether to do some home remodeling this year or leave your money in the bank? You can do both if you remodel with paint. 

"The cost of do-it-yourself interior painting is so low, it's almost like remodeling without touching your bank account," says Debbie Zimmer, spokesperson for the Paint Quality Institute. 

The key, of course, is investing some sweat equity. 

"While a professional painter might charge up to $500 or more to paint a room, if you're willing to provide the labor, you can complete the job for a small fraction of that amount," says Zimmer. 

Looked at another way, do-it-yourself interior painting is a great way to "earn" money. Since painting a room is usually a two-day proposition, if a contractor-applied paint job costs $500 in your area, you're essentially paying yourself $250 a day to paint. 

Absent the labor cost, do-it-yourself interior painting is downright thrifty. Your only outlay is for paint, application equipment like brushes and rollers, and some miscellaneous expenses for things like tape and a drop-cloth. Total cost? "Less than $100 a room," says Zimmer. That's little more than pocket-change in today's remodeling world. 

Whether you've decided to do your own interior painting to save money or simply to have a hand in beautifying your home, Zimmer offers the following tips: 

"Take the time to properly prepare the walls and other surfaces before starting to paint," she says. "That means cleaning them with a solution of detergent and water, after which they should be rinsed and allowed to dry. If there are any cracks or holes in the walls, this is the time to repair them with spackling compound or a good-quality acrylic caulk." 

Zimmer also recommends using only high quality brushes and rollers. "These will help you apply the paint more evenly to get professional-looking results, even if this is your first time painting," she says. 

When applying latex paints, be sure to use brushes and rollers with synthetic bristles and covers. According to Zimmer, the brushes will maintain the proper stiffness and the rollers will maintain their shape even when exposed to a lot of water. 

Lastly, Zimmer recommends that do-it-yourselfers buy only top quality 100% acrylic latex interior paints, which she describes as "the do-it-yourselfer's best friend." 

"If you're going to spend time and effort doing your own interior painting, you want the job to last, and that's where these paints really pay off," she says. "Top quality 100% acrylic latex paints are extremely durable, plus they resist fading, so your paint job will look great for years to come." 

So if you think you're up to the job, put yourself to work doing your own interior painting. You'll be rewarded not just with the money you save, but also with the satisfaction of a job well done. 

For more information, visit www.paintquality.com.

Tips to Keep Your Home Safe and Sound

September 23, 2011 4:09 pm

The well-being of our family is a priority all year, but is especially considered during the holidays when statistics about accidents abound. Most of us, with the possible exception of Clark Griswold in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” take extra precautions for the holiday season. If you’re buying or selling a home, here are a few tips for safety and security that ensure a safe and happy home during the holidays, and all year long. 

1. Protect little ones.
Whether you are preparing for a visit from your grandkids, nieces and nephews, or you have kids of your own, a child-proofing kit makes safety easy with grip-and-twist doorknob covers, latches and plug protectors.
• Child-proofing kit (Safety 1st, #42023), oven lock (Safety 1st, #62342), cord channel kit (#69682) 

2. Mark and secure entries.
The holidays can be prime time for burglaries, but updating your locks with an electronic deadbolt system can provide added peace of mind. If you install a set with a numeric keypad, you’ll never have to worry about leaving keys for your guests again. Mark your entry with path lights that clearly guide the way to the door.

3. Clear the air.
Place an air purifier in the guest room and common areas to remove allergens (especially pet dander) and prevent the spread of cold and flu germs. Choose one with a true HEPA filter for maximum effectiveness.

4. Be fire smart.
With holiday lights, candles and lots of cooking in the kitchen, it’s important to be prepared. Safeguard your family by keeping an extinguisher on hand for small fires, and install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home. Check the batteries frequently to make sure they are in working order.

5. Equip your bath.
It’s a snap to convert your guest bath into a safer place for older guests and young children. Add a grab bar to make getting in and out of the tub easier, and a durable bath mat to help prevent slips in the shower.

For more information and ideas, please visit www.lowescreativeideas.com.

This article is adapted from Lowe’s Creative Ideas for Home and Garden®, November/December 2010 issue, Style & Solutions – Home Safety.


Hot Product Alert: Wood Burning Stoves

September 23, 2011 4:09 pm

With the weather cooling down, many are looking toward alternative heating options. One economic and environmentally friendly heating option is a wood burning stove. The following are some of the reasons why many consumers will be cozying up to these stoves this winter.

1. They are economic. While many list having to buy wood as a slash against a wood burning stove, ready cut wood costs around a third of the cost of natural gas, electricity or oil. Plus, with a bit of planning and research you may be able to score wood for free. Neighbor having that tree in their yard removed? Offer to cut it down if it means you can snag the resulting wood. Plus, with a wood burning stove helping to warm your home, your heating bill will be lower. 

2. They are environmentally friendly. Burning wood is a natural heat source, and releases the same type of natural CO2 that is released into the air when a tree rots naturally.

3. They are safe. Wood burning stoves are safer than open fires as they are enclosed.

4. They are clean. As wood burning stoves are enclosed, there is less of a chance of your carpet or floor getting sooty or singed as it would with an open fire.

5. They provide an energy backup. A wood-burning stove can heat a kettle or a pan if you ever lost your main source of energy, such as your gas or oil.

Word of the Day

September 23, 2011 4:09 pm

Inspection - The act of physically examining and testing a piece of property to ascertain certain information.

Question of the Day

September 23, 2011 4:09 pm

Q: Will I be able to buy again after losing a home to foreclosure?

A: It can happen. But a lot will depend on your circumstances and the mortgage interest rate you are willing to pay. Generally, most lenders will consider your request for a home loan two to four years after your foreclosure. Predatory lenders will issue a home mortgage in less time. But beware—they routinely charge high mortgage interest rates, fees, and penalties for this privilege.

A quality lender will expect you to show that you have cleaned up your credit. Providing a reasonable explanation about the circumstances that led to the foreclosure—such as exuberant medical expenses—is also helpful

Word of the Day

September 23, 2011 2:39 pm

Improvement. Any form of land development or man-made addition, such as the erection of a building or fence, to enhance the value of private property; also an improvement to publicly owned structures, such as a sewer or road.

Question of the Day

September 23, 2011 2:39 pm

Q: Do state and local governments offer loans to assist with home renovations?

A: Just about every state now offers loans for renovation and rehabilitation at below-market interest rates through its Housing Finance Agency or a similar agency. Call your governor’s office to get the name and phone number of the agency in your area.

At the municipal level, many cities also have programs for special improvements to certain blocks and neighborhoods they are trying to spruce up. Call City Hall, as well as a Community Development Agency in your city.