• Kirk

    Spring Maintenance

    April 11, 2010 by Kirk

    Things to do, if you haven't already:

    1. Check & clean the gutters. You may find that the gutter has picked up a leak over the winter. If so, it's time to drop by your local hardware store for something to patch it up with.
    2. If you're like me, the yard has had a chance to become a bit overgrown and cluttered with debris. Now is a good time to clear things up before they have a chance to get out of control. This is especially important if you happen to be living in a fire hazard zone.
    3. In connection with item 2, make sure you know where your garden tools are, and that they are in good working order. Fix or replace anything that is damaged, because gardening is probably going to be an issue for the next six months.
    4. Got Fruit Trees? Now is a good time…
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  • Kirk

    Home Upgrades

    March 22, 2010 by Kirk

    Depending on how old your home is, there are any number of improvements that could be beneficial. Some of the more common are: Electrical, Windows, Insulation, Plumbing and Appliances. While the upgrades are not vital to living in your home, they could have the long term impact of reducing your monthly expenses while improving the quality of your home.

    If your home was built prior to the 60's, chances are good that all your electrical outlets are two-prong only. It wasn't until the 60's that home electrical systems were installed with a ground wire. This can be a problem with equipment that have three-prong plugs. Adapters do exist, but they aren't recommended for critical equipment. So an eventual upgrade of the electrical system could be…

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  • Kirk

    The Evolution of Home

    March 9, 2010 by Kirk

    In the early days a home was simply some place that could be considered safe. While conceivably it could include a relatively inaccessible open space, more commonly it involved the use of a handy cave or similar. Over time it came to be focused on the idea of being a shelter from the elements, and therefore an enclosed space.

    The problem with caves, however, it that they aren't always where you want them to be. So people learned to create enclosed spaces of their own that could stand in the open. Probably starting from an early equivalent of a lean-to, huts of one kind or another were created using whatever materials were at hand. And as mobility became an issue, solutions like Tipi's and tents were developed.

    With the development of agricu…

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  • Kirk

    Looking for Home

    February 22, 2010 by Kirk

    Once you know what you are looking for, the next consideration is deciding where to look. A number of online resources can help narrow the search to a few manageable areas. Once that has been worked out, you can see about getting a real estate agent to assist with check places out.

    As a rule, Agents tend to specialize in specific geographic areas. If you are looking at different counties, you will also be working with different agents. This is important, because once you have found a place, there are any number of laws and regulations that come into play. As such, the agent, in addition to being a tour guide, will serve as a specialized paralegal as well. As part of the licensing process, Real Estate agents are required to demonstrate a wo…

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  • Kirk

    Whether to Own or Not

    February 12, 2010 by Kirk

    At some point in most peoples lives, the above question will come up. It is a question whose answer is dependent on the answers to several other questions.

    There are two parts to this question. Income and Savings.

    Income helps determine how big a monthly mortgage payment you can safely handle. Your monthly payment shouldn't exceed 20% of your monthly paycheck.
    Savings determines how much of a down payment you can handle. From a fiscally conservative standpoint, the down payment should cover 20% of the cost of buying a home of your own. However 10% is often considered okay in the absence of a housing bubble.

    In the event of a housing bubble, you really don't want to be seriously seeking to buy a new home as prices are going to be over-inflated …

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