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7 Ways to Enjoy Your Holiday Just a Little Bit More

I’m not sure buying a dog was the best thing that we could have done right before the holidays. I had an idea that a puppy would take up a lot of my spare time, but I didn’t think that it would take up ALL OF MY TIME. They need to be watched, they need to be walked, they need to be fed, and you need to make sure that they aren't relieving themselves all over your nice wood floors. With a puppy you never know what you are going to find or where you are going to find it.
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Posted in Parents

Holiday Travel: Arrive Happy and Healthy

As millions of Americans hit the airports, holiday joy can turn into a bad time really quickly. From long lines and cranky infants to turbulence and cramped quarters, holiday travel can definitely test your limits. Trusted Choice has put together a list of pro-tips to make your holiday travel as easy and simple as possible.
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Posted in News and Farming

The Diesel Alternative for the Off-Roader

When the average person thinks about diesel engines, large trucks with thick black smoke pouring out of smoke stacks come to mind. The modern diesel has made gigantic strides since those days, however and diesel engines can be found in every type of vehicle, even passenger cars. In this article we will look at the mechanics of the diesel engine, especially for the four-wheel enthusiast.
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Posted in Buying a Car

Can I Get Home Insurance if I Have a Pit Bull?

The cost of homeowners insurance can be impacted by a myriad of things, from crime rates to flood risk in the area. Many homeowners don’t expect the cost of a policy to depend on the breed of dog they own, but this does factor into the cost. One breed of dog that has received a lot of negative press lately in the pit bull – a breed of dog commonly used in dog fighting, and also a very common breed to see in shelters and rescues.
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7 Surprising Dangers of Driving with Pets

What do your dog, cell phone, and a hamburger have in common? Answer: They are all potentially lethal distractions when driving. You’re a busy mom. Ferrying kids about. Dashing off to work. Not to mention finding the time to shop and walk the dog. Mind you, it helps that the dog is a good boy. He hops in the passenger seat like an angel and sits looking out of the windshield. Your furry co-pilot. Do you buckle him up? No. It's only a short journey.
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Posted in Homeowner Bundle - All , Pets , and Safety

5 Free Resources Every Business Owner Should Be Using

Entrepreneurship is demanding, and if you’re going to be successful running your business, you’re inevitably going to need help. Fortunately, the digital age has allowed countless organizations, companies, and independent developers to host their resources and guides online for any business owner to use—and you can easily take advantage of them for your own business. Every business has specific needs based on industry, demographics, and business model, but there are some resources that almost every business can—and should—be using. Take a look at these five free resources, and incorporate them into your operations if you haven’t already.
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7 Tips to Prevent Your Pup from Becoming a Liability When Renting

Finding a decent rental property isn't easy, and it's especially hard when one of your family is four-legged. Owning a dog earns you the cold shoulder from many prospective landlords. And even if you strike lucky and find a great place that allows you to keep the whole family together, your dog may become a hidden liability.
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Posted in Homeowner Bundle - All , Pets , and Safety

Pit Bull Prejudice: Why You Need Pet Liability Insurance

Is your dog the subject of prejudice? Do people cross the road to avoid your canine companion and do insurance agents suck their teeth when it comes to bite liability cover? If your answer is "yes", then the chances are you own a bull breed dog. The trouble is this (unjustified) prejudice runs more than fur deep and could cost you money.
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Posted in Homeowner Bundle - All , Pets , and Safety

5 Simple Steps for Landlords to Safely Rent to Dog Owners

If you are a landlord, perhaps you'd like to rent to people with pets, but the implications worry you too much. In fact, concern about what could happen keeps you awake at night. You imagine that new hardwood floor scratched to pieces, anti-social barking, and tenants with a vicious dog that refuse to leave.
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Posted in Homeowner Bundle - All , Pets , and Safety

8 Things Autism Parents Want for Christmas

Dear Santa, Here is our list in order of importance: 1. Autism awareness and acceptance throughout the world, etc. etc. Of course this is key to our cause and would be ideal to I must add it to the beginning of my list. I realize, Santa, that this is a lofty goal but please understand that sometimes the hardest thing about autism in our house is other’s people’s complete lack of understanding about it. If you could just sprinkle some of that magic dust onto a few billion people so they might have impetus to do a tiny bit of research our trips to the grocery store will get a lot easier.
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Posted in Parents

What All Single Parents Should Know about Life Insurance

There is no denying that it is difficult being a single parent. Though it can be highly rewarding, juggling work, child-rearing, bill-paying and other responsibilities can sometimes be overwhelming. If you are in such a position, know that you are far from alone. A recent report by the U.S. Census shows that as of 2008, single-parent households made up 29.5 percent of all American households with children. The numbers have undoubtedly risen since then.
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Which Social Media Channels Is Your Target Market Using?

Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Snapchat, Ello, Instagram… While having options can be great, it can also lead some businesses to inaction; many become intimidated by the sheer number of choices. Which social platforms are worth the investment of time and effort? Which networks offer the preferred content format for your audience (i.e. video, images, audio or text)? Which ones are most likely to result in a positive ROI for your business?
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The Best-Kept Secret in Savannah for RVers

Savannah, Georgia is arguably at the top of our list of places we’d recommend as full-time RVers, having traveled all over the southeastern section of our country. The historic district of Savannah is home to cobblestoned streets and Spanish moss that hangs from majestic trees that provide veils of beauty everywhere you turn. Plazas and fountains, festivals and music, food and architecture, rich with history and infused with innovation, the city is captivating. If you are in this part of the country, Savannah is a must-see city. But finding an affordable RV spot is never the easiest in places that are as majestic as Savannah.
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The Reluctant Shopper's Guide to Black Friday

Black Friday, aptly named for people like me because the idea of shopping amid masses of hungry, deal-seekers that are ready to take your head off for a half price cappucino machine, makes me want to stacurl up with Netflix and wait for morning. However, like many of you, I wouldn't mind getting a deal or two to help with my Christmas budget this year, so I've developed, what I like to call: "The Reluctant Shopper's Guide to Black Friday."
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Posted in News and Parents

The Best Truck That Was Never Sold in the US

know it's a matter of opinion, but many four-wheelers across the rest of the world would agree with me. The Nissan Patrol is the best truck that they didn't get in the U.S. There was an earlier version during the sixties and a later version known under the name the QX56. However the best models of this legendary vehicle are the years that didn't make it to the United States.
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6 ATV Safety Tips Big Game Hunters Should Know

All terrain vehicles have become so popular with hunters over the last 20 years that many of the latest four-wheel drive models are specially designed to meet the rugged demands of big game hunters. Quieter engines, beefed up suspension systems, tougher tires, camouflage wraps, and hunting accessory packages are the new game in the outdoorsman ATV market. But along with the increased accessibility to steep, rocky terrain afforded by these powerful machines, comes a greater risk of accident and personal injury.
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Posted in News , ATV Page Bundle , and Safety

An Autism Service Dog Graduation Speech

When your child receives a diagnosis, your world spins. Your mind tries desperately to manage emotions so intense you wonder if you’ll ever make it through. And then, then you find someone else just barely able to stay afloat and you look at them, secretly at first. How do they do it? Do they feel the guilt, shame, fear? Do they feel a love so fiercely protective that they can hardly breathe? Are they like you? And then you realize they are like you. You open up a little, and then a little more. You talk, you laugh, and you share. You bond because there are few like you and your friendship will be rare. This week many of these rare bonds were formed, and for that we are grateful.
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Posted in Homeowner Bundle - All , News , and Pets

Should You Insure Your Snowmobile Year-Round?

Millions of Americans enjoy the of excitement dusting off their snowmobiles at the first sign of snowfall. Though insurance coverage for these sleds is not required in all states, it is often mandatory when riding on certain public and private trails. Whether or not it is mandated, insurance coverage is a good idea because it can protect you from financial losses associated with accidents, injuries and properly damage. But what about during the warmer months when your snowmobile is stowed away? Is coverage at this time worthwhile or a waste of money?
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Posted in News , Snowmobile Bundle , and Safety

The Shocking Truth About What's in Your Cat Food, Part 2

Commercial pet food companies are not out to get our cats and other pets, but for them it’s really all about their market-share and bottom line. For pet owners like you and me the bottom line is all about the health, wellness and quality of life we can provide the cats we love. To provide healthy, nutritious and safe foods for our feline companions we have to be proactive consumers willing to learn about the cat products we buy.
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Posted in Homeowner Bundle - All , Pets , and Health

The Shocking Truth About What's in Your Cat Food, Part 1

These days many of us strive to be health-conscious food shoppers because we want our family meals to be healthy and nutritious as well as great tasting. As we push our carts along the food aisles we stop to read the bag, box and can labels in our effort to avoid the bad stuff like high levels of salt, fat, calories, and cholesterol. Sadly though, we aren't as label conscious about the food we buy for the cats we love.
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Posted in Homeowner Bundle - All , Pets , and Health

Are You a Disaster in the Kitchen? Cooking Tips for Non-Cooks

I hate cooking. Is that word too strong? How about despise, detest, resent or loathe? You get the picture. I don’t like handling meat or chopping veggies. I don’t feel confident enough to tell if something is ‘done’ and I certainly would not be able to make a suitable substitute if I didn’t have everything the recipe called for. I am, for all intents and purposes, a horrible cook. Just ask my husband. He’ll be quick to agree. Thankfully, he can cook. The skills I lack in the kitchen I more than make up for in the…garden. What did you think I was going to say? I can bake a little; or at least that is what I tell myself, but cooking is not my bag. So, if it is not yours either let me share with you a few tips that help me feed my family without the use of a microwave (most of the time).
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Posted in Parents and Health

Winter Is Coming: A Parent's Guide to Winterizing the Car

For most of us - except for you lucky folks in the deep south, the desert southwest, parts of Southern California, and Hawaii - the cold weather is starting to settle in. The house thermostat has been changed from “cool” to “heat” and all of our summer clothes have been moved out of our normal closets and into spare (we all have one right?) closets. Swimsuits are traded in for gloves and boots replace flip flops.
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Posted in News and Cars

6 Must-Do Fall Activities for True Country Girls

Crisp mornings and multicolor leaves can only mean one thing: it's fall. And for country girls, fall is just as fun as summer. So whether you're an aspiring country girl, or full fledged tractor driving, cow loading pro, we've got a list of five must-do fall country girl activities.
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7 Secrets of Customer Service Nobody Tells You

Whether you’re an entry-level intern or a high-ranking CEO, at least part of your job comes down to customer service. You could deal with customers directly, handling complaints and questions and meeting with them occasionally as part of ongoing account management, or simply engage with them through your services at a distance. No matter what, you have to keep your customers happy.
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What Your Favorite Halloween Candy Says About You

What does your favorite Halloween candy say about who you are and how you like to celebrate? Choose your favorite treat to find out...
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Posted in Parents and Students

How an Independent Agent Can Save You Tons of Money

Reducing debt and building savings are a great way to start yourself on the path to financial security. Protecting the investments that you have made in your future is also important. While some people may feel that they can save money by skimping on insurance policies or avoiding them altogether, this is actually a very risky way to move through life. Having a contingency plan for the hazards or disasters that life may bring your way is the key to avoiding undue financial setbacks.
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6 Easy Ways to Save Money After a Divorce

The effects of divorce can be devastating. My divorce had a huge impact on my performance at work and turned my personal life upside down. Relocating, no longer living with my children, and just trying to move on were difficult ordeals to endure.
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Posted in Parents and News

Everything You Need to Know About Pet Insurance But Were Afraid To Ask

Finding the right pet insurance policy is a lot like house breaking a puppy: it takes time, patience, and knowledge. In fact, with subtle differences such as per condition, per year, lifetime cover, time limited, cover reset, direct claims, accident only…researching pet insurance can leave you feeling frazzled. But if this makes you want to hide in a corner and whimper, fear not! All is made clear.
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Reverse Mortgages 101: What You Need to Know

Reverse mortgages are advertised a lot these days. You may see them featured in TV commercials, touted in radio ads and mentioned online. Usually, these ads depict happy older couples vacationing on cruises or traveling the world with their reverse mortgage funds. However, this is not the intended use of this type of loan. They are designed more to be used as a lifeline for retired people who have a lot of equity built in their homes and need to supplement their incomes.
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The Joys and Perils of Teaching Your Child to Ride a Bike

I have two kids. One of them knows how to ride a bike and the other does not. While I like to think that my oldest picked up bike riding pretty easily, the truth is it took him the better part of two years to finally master this skill. I’m not the most patient of people when it comes to teaching my kids how to do things. I automatically assume that things like riding a bike shouldn’t be so hard to figure out. I get annoyed, frustrated, and angry at them all the time. I get it in my head that things I can do easily are things they should be able to master without a problem as well. But that's not always the case. After my oldest finally figured out how to do it, I started to teach my youngest and realized that I was going through the same stages with him as well. Perhaps you have experienced the same?
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Your New Dog Could Really Cost You: Dog Bites and Beyond

Acquiring a new pet is like becoming a parent; pets and children are your responsibility, both emotionally and financially, and you need to plan for all eventualities. In the case of pet ownership, this includes being aware of your public liabilities so that unexpected costs don't bite you in the backside.
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Posted in Homeowner Bundle - All , Pets , and Safety

The 2014 Halloween Survival Guide for Parents

It’s that time of year again. Little ghouls and goblins will be running around the streets soon enough and you’ll follow behind diligently watching to make sure that they stay safe. It’s usually considered a chore, but this year you can take advantage of a few ideas that will make trick or treating just as much fun for you.
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Posted in News , Parents , and Students

5 Simple Steps for Buying Used Farm Equipment

So, you've got a great piece of land, and maybe a tractor or two, but it's just not enough. Maybe you've got a great tractor, but you need a new implement like a bush hog or a hay rake. Whatever your equipment needs are, it's a wise idea to know get the inside scoop when it comes to buying used farm equipment.
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Posted in Farming

2 Simple Steps to Finding Your Perfect RV Site Every Time

When we started our full-time RV journey having never RVd before, we didn’t have a clue how to go about finding an RV site that was right for us. Like everyone else, we were overwhelmed by suggestions from friends, ads from websites, forums, apps and every other imaginable source under the sun. Some of these suggestions were better than others, and some were downright awful! Through trial and error, we’ve narrowed down the process of finding a perfect RV site every time.
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Posted in News , RV Insurance Bundle , and Cars

Motorcycle Gear: Protect Yourself from Head to Toe

There is little that can match the joy of taking to the open road on a motorcycle. Whether you are a long-distance rider or just use your bike for weekend fun, one of the most important things you can do is dress for safety. Basic riding gear consists of a helmet, gloves, jacket, and boots. Hardcore, serious bikers may want to suit up in leather riding suits. Protecting your body with the right gear can ensure that your next set of wheels isn’t an ambulance gurney.
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Posted in Motorcycle Bundle , Cars , and Safety

Don't Try This at Home: Hair-Raising Pet Remedies

If your pet becomes unwell, where do you turn for help? As a veterinarian, I understand the need to seek professional advice, but do you? Treating an animal can end in disaster if you don't know what you are doing. In the 19th century veterinary medicine was practically nonexistent and yet owners wanted to help their sick pets. So where did they turn for help?
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Posted in Pets and Health

Boys vs. Girls: Which Are Better Drivers?

The age-old debate continues: Who is better behind the wheel, men or women? If you have both a son and daughter you know just how often this argument erupts around the dinner table. Thankfully, a professor and doctoral student in the civil engineering department at Kansas State University decided to take a closer look and give parents a few real answers when it comes to teen drivers.
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Fight Distracted Teen Driving with New Interactive Simulator

Next time your teen groans at the thought of a weekend driving lesson, flash a smile. Tell the young driver it won't be with you. Let them try a distracted driving simulator, a video-game like experience that creatively inspires teens to keep their eyes on the road.
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Is Your Teen Breaking the Law? What You Need to Know About School Permits

Did you know your teen may have broken a law simply by driving home from school last night? If your teen is using a school permit to go to and from classes, listen up. Each state has very specific guidelines and rules for using a school permit, which is generally issued after your teen has earned a learner's permit.
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Teens and Tire Safety: What Driver's Ed Doesn't Teach Kids

Your child's driver's education class focuses on the rules of the road and being an attentive driver. But driving lessons often miss the mark when it comes to knowing basic car care information. Michelin North America Inc. helped fund a study to determine what driving students are learning -- and not learning -- that could put them at risk for an auto accident.
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The Newlywed Years: A Guide to Making Decisions as a Couple

Americans are waiting longer to get married, after taking time to attend college, build their savings and advance their careers. According to a recent report published by The National Marriage Project, the average age of marriage is now 27 for women and 29 for men. For those set in their careers and living on their own, shifting into the couple mindset may take some time. To help smooth the transition from single to married life, partners should spend time talking and listening to each other, and express their support and willingness to work together toward common goals. Here are a few important decisions newlyweds should make together.
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Posted in News and Health

Just Married: Now What? Financial Fitness for Newlyweds

Planning a wedding is a time-consuming yet amazing adventure. Some spend the better part of a year (or more!) preparing and planning for their big day and the subsequent honeymoon. As the wedding day inches closer on the calendar, couples are inundated with tasks concerning the guest list, table settings, floral arrangements, and even a Plan B in the event of a last-minute venue change or uncooperative weather. But once the dust settles after the whirlwind of a wedding and honeymoon, newlyweds sometimes find settling into the everyday routine of married life overwhelming. Once the wedding is done, it is time to embark on new tasks, including making big decisions on financial matters. To help prepare for life after the wedding and anticipate important post-wedding to-dos, consider the following.
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Posted in News and Health

After the Wedding: What You Need to Know to Navigate Your First Year of Marriage

Your engagement period is filled with fun wedding planning activities. Picking out a dress, and reception location and planning the menu are just a few decisions involved in creating a memorable wedding celebration. Even so, once the wedding is over and you're back from the honeymoon, you and your spouse may be ready to take a break from planning. But your first year as a married couple will entail still more planning, particularly if you're thinking about purchasing a home or starting a family. Here are a few tips on planning your future together, after the wedding.
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Posted in News and Health

Till Death Do Us Part: Is Life Insurance Really Necessary?

After the whirlwind of a wedding and honeymoon, couples face a number of tasks to complete and decisions to make. From determining how finances are divided up to who tackles certain household chores, there is a lot for newlyweds to iron out after getting hitched.
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Posted in News and Health

10 Reasons You Need a Minivan

Gone are the days of boxy, embarrassing and ugly minivans. Back in the day minivans had doors so heavy it took two hands to open them. Remember how angry your mom would get when she had to set down her purse, bag of groceries and the baby so she could open the van door? Remember how poor the visibility was? More than a few bikes parked in the driveway were crushed under these monstrous vehicles. Things have changed. The new sleek, power everything minivan is more like a tiny luxury bus, and you need this kind of luxury in your life.
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Is Your Business Ready to Grow? Here's How to Tell.

A growing, thriving business is a wonderful thing. It's often the product of years of hard work, and results in immense satisfaction. However, not all growth is necessarily good. In fact, too much growth too fast can spell a company's doom.
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In Defense of the Bully: When the Rules of the Schoolyard Don't Quite Fit

All the propaganda surrounding bullying demands that Grace despise this activity. She must run and tell her teacher. She must stand strong with her friends against the bully. Bullies are bad, right? Chasing and hitting are bad, right? How can I ask her to understand that things are not so black and white for every one?
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5 Things to Consider Before Buying a Farm

While fast-paced city life may be the perfect fit for some people, many couples and families are opting to move out of the city and into a more rural atmosphere. Whether it’s a one-acre lot or a 500-acre farm, families across the nation are starting to move toward a more farm-like lifestyle. Gardening is one of the fastest growing hobbies, and canning is right on its tail. Whether your family is looking to just get some breathing room, or you're beginning to look at a full-time farming operation, here are a few things to consider before packing up the wagon and heading out West.
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Why Your Infographics Aren't Getting Results

In an era of social media shares and visual marketing, infographics have become a “must- have” for every business with a digital marketing strategy. The compact format of infographics makes them ideal for today’s time-crunched consumers, putting all the information they need on one attractive, easy-to-read and easy-to-share page.
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Posted in News and Business Owners

Save Big Money on Back-to-School

Going back to school can mean more than pencils and books and parents doing the happy dance as the bus pulls away from the driveway--it can cost a small fortune for many of us. Throw new gym shoes and the cost of a planner into the already rising cost of school supplies and you’re going to feel this month's squeeze in your pocket book. If you have more than one child returning to school, you’re likely feeling a little overwhelmed at the prospect of buying everything they need for success this year. Gone are the days when pencils and books were enough. In order to prepare your children without emptying your wallet, there are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind when you are doing your back-to-school shopping.
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Posted in News , Parents , and Students

Changing Schools? Tips to Help Your Child Make the Transition

Moving is often regarded as one of the most stressful events in life. Whether the move is because of the need to change jobs or the need for a change of scenery, moving brings with it a variety of changes that can be hard on everyone in the family. One such change that can be particularly difficult is transitioning your children from one school to another. With a few tips to make the adjustment manageable you, can save a lot of unnecessary stress.
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Posted in Parents

Foolproof Tips for Road-Tripping with Pets

Is it normal to take pets on vacation? If you are anything like me, the answer is a resounding "Yes!" Years ago, I realized I missed my animals so much while traveling that on our next vacation we decided we’d take at least one with us (we have five cats, two guinea pigs, and a bearded dragon.) Thus a family tradition of traveling with pets was born.
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Posted in News , Pets , and Safety

Surprising New Study About Teens and Texting

The good news for parents of teens today is that modern adolescents are less likely to engage in risky behaviors such as smoking, drinking and fighting. The bad news, however, is that seemingly-benign behaviors such as media usage and texting are on the rise and are, at times, proving deadly. These were the findings of a recent study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the results of which were published this summer.
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New Smartphone Apps to Protect Your Teen Driver

Technology has come a long way in the last 20 years. Most teens now carry cell phones, and while phones can pose dangers while driving, they can also be used to protect your child. Many parents may not be aware of the many applications and other technological advancements that are currently available to them that can be used to monitor their teen drivers.
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Think You Can’t Use a Motorcycle Safety Course? Think Again.

In addition to providing a cost-effective means of transportation, hitting the streets on a motorcycle can be fun and exhilarating; however, it can also be quite dangerous. In the United States in 2011, 4,612 motorcyclists were killed and approximately 103,000 were injured in accidents.
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Posted in Motorcycle Bundle , Cars , and Safety

2014 Safest Cars for Teens

As the parent of a teen driver, you may prefer that your child drive a new, as opposed to used, car. New cars typically include more improved safety features and your child is less likely to get stuck on the road due to a mechanical malfunction. Unfortunately, with the higher price tag that goes along with a new car, higher insurance rates are also part of the equation.
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Add This Great American RV Road Trip To Your Bucket List

Imagine a journey on a highway so scenic that you marvel at every turn. Now imagine there are no neon signs, billboards, motels, restaurants, or any other commercial enterprises on this highway--nothing but the sheer natural beauty of our great nation. Could such a highway exist? If it did, wouldn’t you want to add this great American RV road trip to your bucket list? Well, it does exist. It’s 444 miles long and right in the heartland of America.
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Driver's Ed: Worth It or a Waste?

In 2008, teen drivers were responsible for 6,428 fatalities on our nation’s roadways. In fact, Wayne K. Tully, Chief Executive Officer at National Driver Training, reports that the crash rate for 16-year-old drivers is nearly five times that of crashes for drivers over 25. This is a sobering statistic for the parents of any new drivers. Enrolling teens in a qualified driver's education course may help parents ensure that their children stay safe while out on the road. However, some parents question whether these courses are really worth spending the time and money. If you are among these parents, clarification about the following driver’s ed misconceptions may help you come to a conclusion.
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5 Summer Outings to Please Your Family and Your Wallet

Take advantage of being outside this summer with these inexpensive and family-friendly activities that put an emphasis on nature and local history. There is no need to break the bank to show your family a good time when everything you need can be found right outside your door.
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Posted in Parents

Keep Loved Ones Safe With These Pool Tips

Many Americans retreat to swimming pools throughout the summer to escape the blistering heat. For some, a pool party complete with drinks, grilled food, and music, is an essential part of a perfect summer day. While swimming pools are great for bringing family and friends together, there are risks and pool safety concerns home owners should consider. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly ten people drown each day in the United States and there are over 3,000 unintentional drowning deaths, unrelated to boating, every year.
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Posted in Home Insurance , Parents , and Safety

When What to Expect Brings the Unexpected

There are some things that the baby books don't tell us about having babies. For instance, I've yet to read a chapter entitled "When There is Something Wrong with Your Baby" in any of the pregnancy and child-rearing books that grace my shelves. It isn't always going to be fine and it isn't always going to be easy.
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Posted in Parents and Health

The Daddy's Guide to Road Trips

There is something alluring about the open road. Every year countless families hit the highways for their great summer road trip. Whether it's heading to Yellowstone, the beach, or the Grand Canyon millions upon millions of people start out their trips with such promise, only to wonder what the heck they were thinking about by the end. I've been on a few trips like this myself. A drive from New Jersey to Florida sounds like a great idea at first, but by the end you swear that you will NEVER do it again.
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Posted in Parents

Before You Buy a House, Get a Home History Report: Here's How

Many home shoppers experience some degree of fear of the unknown. Prior to submitting an offer, you may run internet searches on neighborhoods or examine public records to find out about the history of a property. If you're interested in insurance information for a specific property, loss history is collected and made available upon request in the form of a CLUE Home Seller's Disclosure Report.
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Should You Buy That Extended Warranty?

Buying a car is stressful enough without the added frustration and perhaps confusion about car insurance and warranties. Imagine this scenario: You've had your car for a few years, and it now has 50,000 miles on the odometer. You're cruising down the highway one warm summer afternoon with the air conditioning going full blast, keeping the car nice and cool. Halfway to your destination, you start to feel a little warm. You soon realize that your air conditioner has quit working, and you pull into the first auto repair shop you can find. The diagnosis is a broken A/C compressor, a costly repair that is no longer covered under the original factory warranty that came with your car.
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How 9 Million Homeowners Could Have Prevented Property Crimes

Are you unknowingly enticing potential thieves to damage your property or break into your home? While you want your home to be a welcoming environment for family and friends, you might be surprised how common habits might be inviting to criminals, too. According to the FBI, there were over nine million property crimes in the United States in 2010.
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When Responsibility Took on a Whole New Meaning

Today's pressures are so different from those of a few short years ago. The terms life insurance, autism and responsibility had very different meanings back then. When I was younger I felt the pressures of school deadlines and student loan payments. I lamented the burden of paying rent and writing a thesis I really had no business writing.
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Posted in Parents

7 Ways to Keep Your Dog Cool and Healthy in Summer Heat

In my household, dogs are part of the family. Belle, our curious Weimaraner, and Orion, the energetic bull terrier mix, even went on the honeymoon with the hubby and I. Our dogs are always at our sides. So it's no surprise that when the mercury climbs, I'm very aware of how the heat and summer weather affect my pups. Today I'm happy to share several tips for keeping your canine cool and healthy during the dog days of summer.
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8 Things a Country Girl Should Know

Whether you live on a farm, in a suburb, or in the city, being a "country girl" is a rising trend. Being a country girl is much more than just throwing on a pair of cute cowgirl boots and a cowboy hat; it's a lifestyle. Country living is tough, and requires investments of time and hard work. We've compiled a list of eight things a real country girl should know how to do.
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Vacation Tips: 5 Things To Do Before Leaving Town

Summer is quickly approaching and millions of Americans will be taking vacations to their favorite destinations. From family road trips to the beach to boarding international flights headed toward breathtaking destinations, vacationing during the summer is something almost everyone looks forward to. Before leaving for your vacation, however, there are some tips
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Have You Talked to Your Pets Lately? There's an App for That.

Have you ever wondered who's really responsible for all those socks and shoes that go missing while you're at work? Thanks to a wide array of new products leveraging home security technology, your question may finally be answered. For example, one new product, PetChatz, appeals specifically to pet owners by allowing users not only to monitor their pets' activities, but to speak to them and feed them a treat with the push of a remote button.
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Posted in Pets

Parenting: It's Never Easy

I'm so tired. My eyes are blurry from parenting exhaustion but I can still see the beat-up walls with fingerprints and dings and dents staring defiantly back at me. The hardwood floor boasts scrapes and scratches from too many toys being dragged up and down the hallways. The tiles in the kitchen are chipped from pots and pans dropped hastily while trying to juggle dinner preparation and a young family.
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Posted in Parents

The Pentagon Has a Zombie Apocalypse Plan. Here’s One for You.

Did you ever stop and think what might happen if the Zombie Apocalypse actually occurred? How would you protect your family? What would be left, if anything, when it was all over? The Pentagon has a plan in place, should you? Zombies have been giving us nightmares for what seems like forever. We've all seen the movies and television shows where flesh-eating zombies take over the world, only to be destroyed by some guy and his love interest in the end.
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Someone Fell off My Horse. Can They Sue Me?

Whether you own one horse or ten, chances are you've been asked by a friend or visitor to let them ride. While this seems like a friendly gesture, you may be opening yourself up to a potential lawsuit. Horses are powerful animals. Even if you follow all the rules of horsemanship, you can never predict a horse's actions - or the actions of a rider. A plastic bag blowing by, a panic attack while riding, or even a sneeze can set a disaster in motion.
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Used Cars: What Are You Really Paying For?

Used car dealerships make money by buying low and selling high, just like the bookstores and clothing boutiques down the street. But on the used car lot, what goes into the price isn't quite as obvious. If you compare the Kelley Blue Book prices on the vehicle you want, you can see the trade-in value, the private seller value and the dealer value, which is invariably the highest of the three. So what are the price tag components that make the same make and model cost more at the dealership than in your neighbor's front yard? At the dealership, you often pay for the car salesman commission, used car markup (which can be the most expensive part of the purchase), plus any extra warranties, features or financing you add into the deal. It's not a crime for salespeople and dealership owners to make a profit. But how do you make sure you're putting the lion's share of your money into the vehicle and not the dealer's wallet?
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8 of the Best Cars Under $10,000

If you are shopping for a car and need to spend less than $10,000, new cars are not an option for you. Currently, the least expensive new car on the market is the Nissan Versa, which starts at about $12,000. This does not mean, however, that you cannot find yourself behind the wheel of a great car. When you buy a used car, you can often find a very well equipped vehicle at an extremely affordable price.
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9 of the Best Cars Under $5,000

If you are shopping for a used car and have a budget that is under $5,000, you may think that finding a cheap, yet reliable, car is unlikely. You may also be willing to simply settle for anything you can find that will get you from point A to point B. However, there are used cars available in your price range that have a solid and proven track record, and one may just be the right car for you.
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Posted in Buying a Car

Is Buying a New House the Right Way to Go?

As the housing market continues to recover in much of the U.S., shiny new houses are once again hitting the market in healthy numbers. Buying a new house, especially one custom built to your specifications, is an empowering experience. But is it the right financial move for you and your family? Let's take a look at what the experts say about the pros and cons of buying a new home, as opposed to an older home.
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What Kind of House Should Be Your Next Home?

Are you thinking of buying a home? You may be wondering what type of house is right for you. If you need assistance in identifying an affordable price range for a home, there is no shortage of online calculators and mortgage rate estimators to help. Deciding if you'd prefer a townhome over a log cabin, or a condo rather than a ranch, is much more subjective, and it's hard to find outside sources that can help you make a sound choice. You could take any number of the available "Find out What Your Dream House Is" quizzes online. However, it's unclear how your favorite cartoon character or the month in which you were born will point you in the proper direction. These personality assessments may be entertaining, but can leave you more confused than when you started.
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10 of the Best Cars Under $15,000

Let’s face it. When you're shopping for a new car on a limited budget, your don't have many options. There are a number of used cars you can purchase for under $15K, particularly if you are looking at cars that are 5 years old or older, but if you prefer to purchase a new car, you will have only a handful of cars to consider. In the under $15,000 price range, you will only find compacts and subcompacts. Here is our list of 10 of your best new car choices for under $15,000, shown from least to most expensive. Of course, there will be both pros and cons with any car in this price range.
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Complete List of Dos and Don’ts on Car Buying Services

Car buying services can save you money on the overall purchase price of a car, often for a flat fee or a percentage of the savings under the MSRP. According to Bankrate, “These companies usually hire auto-savvy professionals to find a vehicle on the consumer's behalf.” The best auto buying services have the potential to save you thousands on the cost of a car. But more importantly for some buyers, a car buying service can save you time – hours and even days.
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What You Didn't Know About Vehicle History Reports

Car history reports, like the ones provided by AutoCheck and CarFax, are one of the most valuable resources consumers can use to protect themselves in the used car market. According to Kelley Blue Book, car history reports use a car's vehicle identification number to run a check on important facts and events in the vehicle's past, including these: Accidents Manufacturer recalls or lemon law flags Salvage or junk titles Odometer rollbacks Number of previous owners Other states where the car was registered This information can save you from purchasing a car that has hidden damage from a collision or from buying a vehicle from an unscrupulous seller who may have altered the facts about the car's history.
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Buying Diesel? Pros and Cons to Consider

When you are shopping for a new car, you have many options. Some cars are available with diesel engines, and you may be wondering whether buying diesel is a good idea. Until recently, most of the diesel-powered vehicles in the United States were trucks because diesel motors are much better suited for large, heavy vehicles such as tractor-trailers, construction vehicles and school buses. However, passenger cars with diesel motors are gaining in popularity, and carmakers are producing more of them each passing year. If you are asking yourself, “Should I buy a diesel car?” you may find this article beneficial for helping you weigh out the pros and cons associated with these types of vehicles.
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Can I Get a Mortgage with My Current Credit Score?

When you are ready to buy your first home, you will most likely need to finance your purchase through a mortgage. If your credit history isn’t very long or if you’ve had some financial snafus over the years, you may be wondering if you will be able to qualify for a mortgage. Your credit score isn’t the only thing that mortgage companies look at, but it plays a very important role in determining whether or not you will be approved for financing.
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Which Is Best for You? Hybrid vs. Gas Cars

Hybrid carmakers have sold more than 2 million gas/electric vehicles since the Toyota Prius debuted 15 years ago. Now, as gas-powered cars increase in efficiency and hybrids get more sporty and accessible, the question of hybrid vs. gas cars is tougher to answer than ever. If you're in the market for a vehicle that can keep your carbon footprint small, save you money at the gas station and go easy on your budget, a hybrid car might seem like the way to go. But it will take a little math to make sure.
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No Time to Worry: Why Autism Parents Must Have All Their Ducks in a Row

"I don't know how you do it." It's a phrase I hear all the time. It's as if some people think working full-time teaching children with special needs and raising a child with special needs is a big deal or something. Of course, I kid. It is a big deal. A big old hairy deal that has had me tied up in knots and broken down on the floor many times. Throw in my husband and older daughter, who also need attention, a slowly emerging writing career which could use some TLC, a sorry little social life, and you have a recipe for complete disaster.
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Posted in Parents

Buying an Old House: Is It Really as Easy as it Looks?

From "This Old House" to "Flip This House," television has long romanticized the process of turning an old, rundown home into a beautifully renovated palace of construction wonders. Some potential buyers think, "Hey, just a little work, a lot of TLC, and I can make twice as much off this home as what I paid for it!" While it's possible, it is often a a much more laborious process than those highly edited TV shows would indicate. Without an entire crew of construction specialists and a producer's budget, fixing up an old home can require a lot of time and money. There is a way to do it carefully, however, and it starts with proper planning.
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What Is a Salvage Title Car? Experts Explain.

If you're in the market for a great deal on a used car, you might come across an ad with the words "salvage title" in fine print at the bottom. What is a salvage title? What does it mean to purchase a vehicle under a salvage title? Is a car with a salvage title insurable? We've done some of the research for you so you can decide if a car with a salvage title is worth the risk. What Is a Salvage Title Vehicle? According to Keith Griffin, an automotive journalist and president of the New England Motor Press Association, "A salvage title is given to any vehicle that has sustained damage worth 75% or more of its value. For example, if you drive a 2002 Honda Civic worth $9415 and it suffers $7061 in damage in a collision, it’s going to be branded with a title stamped 'Salvage.'" Some states call this a junk title rather than a salvage title.
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10 of the Best Cars Under $20,000

There are literally hundreds of different cars currently available for purchase. When you are shopping for a new car, it can be difficult to narrow your choices down. One of the best ways to start is by determining the best cars that fit within your budget.
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6 Best SUVs Under $20,000

SUVs come in four types: compact, midsize, large and luxury. If you are looking for a new sport utility vehicle for under $20,000, your choices will be mostly limited to the compact SUVs. If what you have in mind is a larger SUV, you will need to consider used vehicles in order to stay within this price range. Many of the compact SUVs and crossovers being produced today offer consumers everything they are looking for, so if you have your heart set on a new vehicle, you may want to look into a few of these SUVs on our list. Below, listed from most to least expensive, are our picks for the six best new SUVs you can purchase for under $20,000.
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6 Best SUVs Under $20,000

SUVs come in four types: compact, midsize, large and luxury. If you are looking for a new sport utility vehicle for under $20,000, your choices will be mostly limited to the compact SUVs. If what you have in mind is a larger SUV, you will need to consider used vehicles in order to stay within this price range. Many of the compact SUVs and crossovers being produced today offer consumers everything they are looking for, so if you have your heart set on a new vehicle, you may want to look into a few of these SUVs on our list. Below, listed from most to least expensive, are our picks for the six best new SUVs you can purchase for under $20,000.
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The 5 Hardest Things About Working from Home in My Slippers

What could possibly be difficult about working in the comfort of my own home each day? My commute is approximately five seconds down a hallway. I get to pick the radio station. And, snacks? They're available anytime I want, and may even include a glass of wine! Hey, it's 5 o'clock somewhere! Before you decide to ditch the 9-to-5 cubicle and find a work-at-home position, I envy you. I really do. Why? Your only distraction is likely social media notifications beeping on your cellphone. I might be typing in my slippers right now, but making my home double as an office is no easy job.
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Is That Covered by Home Insurance? 5 Surprising Facts

Home insurance policies are designed to protect your personal property and provide reimbursement in the event of damage or loss. Yet, when a claim is filed, many people are surprised to find certain items are excluded from coverage. Likewise, some individuals miss the opportunity to file a claim, not realizing they have experienced a covered loss. Below are five areas that tend to cause confusion in the world of home insurance. Do you know which ones are covered by your current policy? (Hint: Ask your insurance agent if you aren't sure.)
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What You Need to Know About Buying a House with Defects

Some folks look at a run-down home in need of major TLC as a fun project to occupy weekends. Others are attracted to the low asking prices many sellers want for a home with significant defects. Many buyers fall in love with a specific home or neighborhood, only to discover the property has substantial problems just prior to signing that purchase agreement. Whichever camp you fall into, there are several factors to keep in mind when you buy a house that requires vital repairs.
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California Fires Call for Multiple Evacuations

Blazing California fires near San Diego and the surrounding communities threatened the homes of scores of locals last week. One of the largest fires, near California State University, San Marcos is suspected to have been started by arson. High winds and low humidity along with blistering temperatures helped fuel these fires. On Friday, May 16, CNN reported that six major fires were threatening the San Diego area, including the cities of San Marcos and Escondido along with the military base at Camp Pendleton.
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Posted in News and Catastrophe

Should I Buy or Build a New Home?

New homes offer many attractive features to potential buyers. They often require fewer repairs, offer new appliances and are more energy efficient. New homes can cause just as many headaches and hassles as older homes, however. Before you build or buy new, consider the following factors. Investigate the Builder's Reputation Just because the home is brand new doesn't mean it was constructed with quality and care. Whether your next home is in a development or you are considering construction from scratch, always research the builder's past history.
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Posted in Buying a House

What You Didn't Know About Buying a House 'As Is'

As bank-owned properties and foreclosed homes continue to make up a significant portion of the housing market, "as is" sales are becoming more and more common. In some cases, an "as is" clause in the purchase agreement doesn't automatically sour the deal. In others, it can be a sign for potential buyers to run as far from the offer as they can. How can you identify which case it will be?
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Are You Ready to Buy a Beach House?

The beach home bug can bite when you least expect it. Many people show up for a vacation on the coast with no notion of buying oceanfront property. But a few days on your favorite stretch of sand can make you start to look around and wonder, Should I buy a beach house? Buying beach property can be a great way to secure a peaceful getaway or retirement home for yourself and your loved ones. It can also provide a little extra rental income in the off season. But buying a beach house can prove much more complicated than it might seem at first glance. So here is a list of preconditions to consider before you take the plunge.
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What You Should Know About Buying a Lake House

Buying a lake home can be an exciting process. Whether you're looking for a weekend getaway, a retirement home, or a primary residence, lakefront properties offer many attractive features. Homes near and on lakes also have their own set of hassles and aspects to carefully consider, however. Before you sign that purchase agreement, be sure you have all the facts. Choose the Right Agent As a real estate agent in Minnesota, Daryl Bronniche is what you may consider an expert on waterfront properties. "You can't throw a rock around here without hitting a lake," he joked. "And lake homes are a different beast."
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It's Wildfire Season: Are You at Risk?

Imagine losing everything you own, including all of the contents of your home, to a fire. In addition to the tens of thousands of dollars in damage (or more), survivors of catastrophic fires lose more than just property; they lose difficult-to-replace keepsakes such as family heirlooms or photo albums. For many states, especially in the southwestern and western United States, the chances of catastrophic loss by fire are increased due to wildfires. In fact, a wildfire broke out on May 5th in Oklahoma near the town of Guthrie and evacuations were ordered for 1,000 locals. Other areas of Oklahoma have suffered wildfires in the past week with one fire raging across Harper and Woodward counties.
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Posted in News and Catastrophe

How to Go on a Road Trip with an Autistic Child: 5 Tips

Traveling is a luxury we should not take for granted. Sometimes, our circumstances might make it a little more difficult to freely hit the open road when there are children involved. When it comes to children with autism, it can be even harder. Each time we leave our home on a road trip with our children, we must first create a contingency plan for any unforeseen difficulties that may arise. We are not your average family.
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Don't Give a Burglar Easy Access to Your Home

Despite new advances in home security, such as cameras, viewable smart devices and self-installed motion detectors, burglars are still finding easy ways to break in. Recent reports of burglars stealing garage door openers from unlocked cars and returning later to gain keyless entry into a home has individuals becoming more vigilant about concealing or locking up the small devices. Other tactics used by burglars include using a coat hanger to jimmy a garage door's release string and breaking into back doors hidden from neighbors.
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Posted in News and Safety

How to Have the Coolest Backyard on the Block this Summer

Backyard equipment has evolved from simple swings and a slide to palatial play structures complete with tube slides, zip lines and rock walls. Everyone wants to have the coolest backyard, but safety should never take a back seat to fun. According to a recent article in USA Today, trampoline accidents alone caused over a million emergency room visits between the years 2002 and 2011. Below are some of summer's hottest backyard play items along with ideas on how to keep kids safe as they play.
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When Joyous Occasions Turn Sour: How I Coped

What was supposed to be a joyous occasion became anything but that. A performance of Hercules was kicking off our four day Disney cruise to the Bahamas when all of a sudden our hearts sank. A family getaway years in the making, and our trip was being cut short only two hours out to sea.
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Posted in Parents and Health

Small Business Nightmare: My Career Almost Went Up in Smoke!

Every small business person dreams of the project that catapults them to the next level in their career. For me, it was an assignment for Time magazine. Yes, that Time magazine. What I never anticipated was nearly burning down the set and making a claim on my small business insurance.
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Posted in Business Owners

A Simple Guide to Buying the House You Rent

When Lisa Sanford accepted a job in post-Katrina New Orleans, she was not entirely sure how long she would be staying. She and her husband sold their Birmingham, AL home and began renting a house in Grenta, LA. After a few years, the couple was certain that they wanted to live there long-term and they ended up buying the house they’d been living in. If you are currently renting a house and want to stay in it long-term, you may want to do something similar to what Lisa Sanford did. Home ownership will enable you to start building equity while also permitting you to make and enjoy improvements to the property. Furthermore, although your property taxes may fluctuate a bit, you will no longer need to be concerned about annual rent increases.
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Severe Weather Alert: Are You Ready for Tornadoes, Floods?

From the recent tornadoes in Arkansas and Oklahoma, to the flood warnings issued for the New England states to Florida this weekend, Severe Weather Awareness Week kickstarted some of Mother Nature's most damaging acts. This week's storm system left the South ravaged, citizens killed and several others injured on Monday. Tornadoes and high winds leveled homes and damaged everything vehicles to schools. The system moved to the East coast on Wednesday saturating the area with 11-inches of rain near Pensacola, Florida and Mobile, Alabama causing flash floods.
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6 Tips on Baby Safety Gates and Tales from Moms Who Could Have Used Them

Quite possibly one of the worst sounds on the planet is the sound of a small child falling down the steps. There's a series of horrible bumps and thuds before one loud crash that culminates in a blood curdling scream. What's even worse? Watching it happen. It's a scene that never leaves your mind. It's happened to both of my boys at the age of one and thankfully, they made it through their tumultuous tumbles unscathed.
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What Will Happen To My Child When I Am Gone?

It might be one of the most dreaded topics of all. What will happen to my child when I die? It hurts me to even type that sentence. I prefer to live in denial about such things. I think we all do to some extent. The sad truth is that it is a topic we cannot afford to avoid. It is a topic that permeates my subconscious each time I am reminded of my daughter's future. Will she be independent? Will she live on her own? Will she be married? These are all things parents of children with autism cannot take for granted. We can hope and wish for bright and independent futures for our children but we must be prepared should this not be the case. We must do the unpleasant task of preparing for a future when we are gone and our children still need support.
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Posted in Parents

Tornado Outbreak in Southern States Drives Home the Importance of Emergency Preparedness

A chain of deadly thunderstorms that spawned dozens of tornadoes across the southern United States has devastated communities throughout Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. This outbreak of catastrophic weather began last weekend in central Arkansas and continues to concern many as the tornadoes head northeast. At the height of tornado season, these storms demolished numerous homes and businesses and serve as a reminder of the importance of emergency preparedness. Emergency workers and volunteers are working tirelessly to find survivors and missing persons.
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Posted in News and Catastrophe

Insider Tips: Is Now a Good Time to Buy a House?

When the economy tanks, a common concern is whether you should buy a house or wait. Just about everything is affected when the economy begins to slow, from jobs to the demand for lower-priced groceries and gasoline. Unfortunately, a bad economy also negatively impacts the housing market. Whether the economy is good or seems to be lagging behind, you can still take advantage of what's for sale on the market. Depending on how the economy is doing, you can end up getting a great deal on a house, perhaps the home of your dreams. This guide will help you navigate the home buying process, whether the economy is doing well or not.
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How to Buy Home Insurance For an Autism Household

According to the CDC, Autism is a disorder affecting approximately one in fifty children in the united states. You will be hard pressed to find someone who is not, in some way, affected by autism. It has become an increasingly prevalent concern for families and with this diagnosis comes new responsibilities in term of the safety of our children and insurance for our homes. With so many families affected there are a number of resources aiming to help people on their journey of raising an autistic child. Trusted Choice can help you find a home insurance provider to help you navigate the concerns surrounding your child's diagnosis and answer the questions imperative to keeping your family and your home safe
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Home Owners Wary About Sprinkler Systems

Recently, the television program Shark Tank featured a new tool invented by a fire fighter after he observed the water damage resulting from fire sprinkler systems. As a greater number of townships and municipalities require builders to install fire sprinklers in new residential properties, homeowners are still wary of the water damage that may result from their activation. Yet, sprinklers have proven to be an effective away to save lives and limit property damage stemming from a fire.
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Malaysian Flight 370 Search Party Encounters Roadblocks

The search for missing Malaysian Flight 370 continues, despite several roadblocks. A small oil slick, not from aircraft hydraulic fluid or oil according to a report from USA Today, makes maneuvering the area difficult. The United States Navy's robotic search submarine, dubbed Bluefin-21, has performed several searches in the suspected area where the Boeing 777 went missing. Last week, Bluefin-21 completed its first full 16-hour mission. Previous searches were called off early due to hazards related to the depth of the search. However, the submarine is now attempting searches reaching 3 miles below the water surface, despite the possible safety risks involved.
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Posted in News

How Does Obamacare Affect Doctors, Nurses and Hospitals?

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, receives a lot of attention in relation to how it affects individual taxpayers. This law requires most Americans to obtain health care coverage, either through employment or through a private or network plan. While the focus is on the individual, there are other entities affected as well. How does Obamacare affect doctors? This new US law affects a variety of people and businesses and in several ways. Consumers are asking questions about whether they can keep their current doctors. Some doctors wonder what this means to their patient load, income, and overall general practice health. It's important to break down the various ways the law affects doctors and patients alike.
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Posted in Health

How Does Obamacare Affect Small Businesses?

As a small business owner, every dollar matters. There's no doubt then, that businesses want to know the answer to one question. How does Obamacare affect small business? Obamacare, a name used to describe the Obama Administration's Affordable Care Act, is a law that went into place requiring Americans to have health insurance. Prior to the law's implementation, many employers provided health insurance to employees. Yet, not all companies did so. This left many millions of Americans without the necessary health care coverage. Though the new law puts the emphasis on the employees themselves seeking out coverage when it is not employer-provided, there is still a significant impact on small businesses.
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Posted in Health

How Does Obamacare Affect Government-Funded Programs?

When news of passage of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, hit, many older Americans wondered about their benefits. So, how does Obamacare affect Medicare recipients? The new law requires that Americans maintain health insurance, whether through private plans, networked plans, or employer-sponsored plans. While rumors of what Obamacare would mean to seniors continued to make seniors worry about their benefits, now that the plan is in place we have a better understanding of what it means to seniors and other Medicare recipients.
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Posted in Health

Higher Tornado Risks for South, Midwest and Plains States

Most of us have heard the old adage "April showers bring May flowers." While this is true for many people throughout the United States, spring and early summer is also known as Tornado Season because there is a heightened risk for tornado activity throughout the south, Midwest, and plains states. According to Paul Martin, CPCU, "tornadoes are the most feared and most fascinating of weather events. They attack so unpredictably and with such speed and ferocity, that many are caught gawking, completely exposed or unprepared." In recent years, tornadoes have inflicted billions of dollars in property damage and injured thousands of people in Joplin, Missouri and Moore, Oklahoma.
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City Living or Peaceful Suburbia: Expert Agent Lays Down Facts

Aside from price and square footage, one of the most common questions prospective home buyers will ask is where to buy a house. From city to suburbs, different places have their own pros and cons. For example, the suburbs may mean a longer commute to work, yet they provide more outdoor space and are generally quieter than cities. On the other hand, cities are full of entertainment and action, and many amenities are likely to be within walking distance. If you are considering buying a home but aren't sure where to begin, this guide can help you make an informed decision.
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Expert Advice: How Big of a House Do you Really Need?

"How much house should I buy?" is a common question for prospective home owners. The size of the family and the needs of the individuals who will be living in the home vary greatly, and can determine the size of the house you will move into. Just as you don't want to end up with a home that is too small and cramped, you also don't want to spend more money, and be stuck with more space, because you thought that you needed the extra space when you really didn't. When deciding on the size of the house, there are many factors to take into consideration. This guide will provide you with information and suggestions to help you make a more informed decision.
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Ask These 9 Questions Before Buying a Home

When you are buying home, there are many questions to ask. To determine what questions are the most important, you should consider a number of factors. From common questions to uncommon ones, knowing the right questions to ask, and what a good response might entail, will help you purchase the home of your dreams. You may think of other questions along the way, so be sure to have a real estate agent who is easily accessible, and who will provide you with useful information to make the buying process go as smoothly as possible. This guide details questions you should ask when buying a home.
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Posted in Buying a House

Should I Buy a House with Pool? Top Pros and Cons

Should I buy a house with pool? Answers to this question depend on cost, the location you are planning to live in, lifestyle needs, and much more. The thought of having a nice cool place to beat the summer heat can seem great at first, but before you take the plunge and opt for a house with a swimming pool, there are many other factors to consider. As with many other aspects of home ownership, including the house itself, maintenance is just one drawback of owning a house with a pool. This guide provides a closer look at the prices you can expect for houses with pools in every region around the country.
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What Is the Best Age to Buy a House?

A big part of home ownership is feeling independent and responsible, including a good age or the best age to buy a house. Questions of what age you should be, or if there is a good age to buy a home, will certainly come up, especially for young home buyers. Sonja Dalbey, real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Burnett, emphasizes that for adults of all ages, it is important to consider how long you will stay in the home along with the stability of your income. This guide offers a closer look at the various parts of home ownership, and how age might be a factor, along with financial stability.
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Home Buying Made Easy: 8 Step Guide

Every fist-time home buyer needs an easy home buying guide to make the ordeal just a little bit simpler from the start. A quick and easy home buying guide for any first-home shopper should contain expert advice and a big-picture overview of the whole process, from start to finish. The following are eight tried-and-true steps we put together to help you buy your first home smoothly and easily.
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Posted in Buying a House

How to Buy a House in Foreclosure: 5 Steps

In some parts of the country, the housing market is making a remarkable recovery, while other areas remain depressed. Even within states that are seeing sharp increases in property values, some towns and neighborhoods are still reeling with high numbers of foreclosed homes. The opportunity to find amazing deals on a foreclosed home remains readily available for many buyers. Purchasing a foreclosed home comes with trade-offs, however. Some aspects of the process make it easier for buyers that are purchasing a home from individual sellers, while other factors make the process more complex. How does one go about buying a foreclosed home?
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5 Things to Think About When Buying a Rental Property

There are currently more than 22 million landlords in the United States, and this number is growing rapidly. In fact, according to the Rental Protection Agency, more than 500 people become new landlords every day in this country. Perhaps you are considering joining them. Investing in rental property can be a lucrative venture, but it can also have its risks and drawbacks. Be sure to take the following five factors into consideration before buying a house to rent. That way, you can increase your odds of success.
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How to Buy a House When You Already Own One

Whether you are looking at purchasing a second home for investment purposes, as a permanent vacation destination, or as housing for an aging parent or grandparent, owning more than one home presents its own set of unique challenges and concerns. Some people own more than one home because they are waiting for housing prices to recover before putting their old residence on the market. Whatever your reasons, there is help in navigating these unknown waters. Life Changes Sometimes, families outgrow their primary residence, and need a bigger home. On the flip side, empty nesters and retirees sometimes look for a smaller home, but don't want to lose their primary home.
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Top 10 Easy Tips for Home Buyers

Buying a home is one of the most thrilling and frustrating experiences you're likely to encounter as an American. We've gathered 10 tips for home buyers to help make the home buying process go just a little more smoothly for you. 1. Prepare Your Credit in Advance – Far in Advance According to Bankrate, "The credit score of the buyer may be the most important factor when it comes to qualifying for a loan these days." You can make sure it's up to par by checking your free annual credit report months before buying a home. Lenders want to see that you have plenty of credit available to you, so make an effort to pay down your credit lines to a reasonable percentage of your income before applying for a loan.
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Posted in Buying a House

Seven Tips for Saving Money to Buy a House

For most first-time homebuyers, saving money to buy a house is the hardest part. Knowing how much you need is the first step. Accumulating enough money to use for a down-payment is the second; and though it can take years, it is not an impossible task. By making a few adjustments to the way that you are currently spending money, you can set aside funds every month and watch your savings grow until you have as much as you need to buy a house.
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Find Out How Much You Can Spend on a House

If you are preparing to purchase your first house, one of the first questions you may ask is “How much can I spend on a home?” Homeownership necessitates more planning and expenses than renting does, so it is important that you consider this question carefully. You do not want to end up house-poor or find yourself needing to take on a second job so that you can make ends meet. Take the time to think about the following seven questions. They may help you get a better idea of what you can reasonably afford to spend on your first house.
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What Should My Income Be to Buy a House in My State?

Homeownership has long been thought of as part of attaining “The American Dream.” However, in the wake of the housing bubble crash, many people are thinking twice before purchasing their first home. One of the most often asked questions is “How much money should I make to buy a house?” Of course, the answer to this query will vary according to where you live and the price of the house you wish to buy, but there are ways that you can calculate an estimate of what your income should be to buy a house.
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How Does Obamacare Affect Me?

Many people simply want to know: How does the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, affect me personally? The new health care system is likely to affect most Americans, but in different ways. It's important to note that if you have employer-sponsored health care, you may or may not see changes to your health care coverage, based on costs and coverage options. In some cases, your employer may make changes to policies to meet the Affordable Care Act guidelines. The ACA affects people differently, depending on their age and circumstances.
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America's Best-Kept Secret About Business Insurance

The vast majority of successful business owners enjoy that status by working hard and making smart decisions. One of the best decisions any company can make is finding experienced, qualified people for key positions. One position that can greatly impact any business investment's chance of success is its insurance agent. Do you want an agent who works for your business, or the insurance company? To protect your investment and future, purchasing from a quality business insurance company is imperative for the long-term success of your business.
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How to Know if You Should Rent or Buy a House

In the 1980s, when the economy was strong and house values were appreciating rapidly, financial experts like Suze Orman strongly advised young people to buy a house as early as possible. At the time, it made economic sense. In today’s economy, however, many of these same financial experts, including Ms. Orman, are advising that you proceed with caution. So, what is the right move for you? When choosing between buying a house and renting, you may benefit from considering the following questions and information. There may be some factors you have not yet considered. Ultimately the decision is yours, but approaching the dilemma with as much information as possible can be very helpful.
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Buying a House in 2014 - Market Trends You Need to Know

The U.S. housing market recovered in 2013 better than most industry analysts expected. With the help of historically low interest rates, a tight inventory and rising stock prices, more people bought homes last year than they did in 2012. Some positive trends are expected to continue during 2014, while others are estimated to slow down, and still some factors will perhaps affect affordability for those bordering on so-so credit. The following are the 2014 housing market predictions from the experts:
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How to Buy a House After Bankruptcy

In 2013, more than one million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy. Of these filings, about 706,000 were Chapter 7 bankruptcies and about 330,000 were Chapter 13 bankruptcies. In many cases, personal bankruptcies are the result of unsurmountable medical bills or result following long periods of unemployment, a common problem in the recent economy. If you are among the millions of people who have filed for personal bankruptcy in the past few years, you may think that your dream of homeownership is an unattainable one. But, believe it or not, you can still buy a house.
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The Only House Buying Checklist You Need to Read

Buying a house should be a time for anticipation and celebration of all the hard work and planning that have brought you this far. To keep things simple, we've compiled the only house buying checklist you're likely to need, as you prepare, shop for, and purchase the house you've waited for. Refer back to this house buying checklist whenever you feel a little lost, or just to track your progress. Remember that every house purchase is different, and some of these checklist steps may fall in a slightly different order for you than they do for your neighbor.
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6 Things You Should Look for When Buying a House

What things do you need to look for when buying a house? Before you walk into a deal that decides the next few decades of your financial future, know the warning signs you need to watch out for. Buying a house can be a process full of twists, turns, and pitfalls, and you'll want all your wits about you to keep your savings and your credit as safe from a money pit nightmare as possible. Warning Sign #1: The home is in short-sale or foreclosure. Yes, you can snag a great deal this way, but things can get complicated quickly. Many of these homes are not available to the average buyer, and are sold at auction to banks and investors.
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10 Things You Should Know About Buying a Condo

People choose buying condos over single family homes or renting an apartment for several reasons. Whether it's the convenience of a downtown location near shopping and cultural centers, the joys of home ownership without the headaches of yard work, or the affordability factor condos offer versus traditional homes, the factors are numerous. Is buying a condo right for you? That's a decision only you can make, but the following may help you be better informed. 1. Condos Mean Shared Responsibility One of the features of condo living that attracts people to this choice is the sharing of responsibility in terms of repairs and for insurance purposes.
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The First Time Home Buyer Grants You Didn't Know About

Buying a first home can be a stressful and frustrating experience. Assistance is available to help ease this process for those who qualify, however. National and state programs can offer grants to buy a home, mortgage interest rate guarantees and down payment assistance. These come in the form of first-time home buyer grants, grants to buy a home in rural areas and even grants to help you repair or make energy-use improvements to your new home.
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Buying a House After Foreclosure is Easier Than You Think

Buying a house after a foreclosure used to seem like a nearly impossible task, but now boomerang buyers are taking back their share of the housing market. Moody Analytics estimates that as many as 1.4 million formerly foreclosed households will be eligible for new FHA loans in 2014. This means that they have completed the necessary three-year hiatus following foreclosure, and can begin the process of securing a mortgage once again. However, buying a home after a foreclosure can present special challenges and pitfalls that previous homeowners may not expect. If you're one of the new groundswell of boomerang buyers, here are a few ways that buying a house after a foreclosure can differ from your first go-round.
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7 Things You Need to Know When Buying a House

Buying your first home is one of the most stressful, yet exciting, moments you can experience. But before you sign on the dotted line, find out what you need to know when buying a house. We've gathered a few of the top tips from the experts on preparing, financing, saving, shopping, and insuring your new home. So without further ado, here are seven things you need to know when buying a house. 1. Know your credit score. Your FICO credit score is a little like a report card. It takes into account your payment histories, debts, types and length of credit, and whether you have recently applied for new credit. The highest score possible is 850, but the median American score falls in the 720's, which can get you a great mortgage rate.
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The New Homeowner Tax Guide You’re Missing

It’s tax time, and for many first-time homeowners, the confusion is just settling in. When it comes to taxes, many homeowners throw up their hands in frustration and take the easiest way out. Whether this is dropping your papers in the mailbox to an accountant, or going through a DIY tax program, doing taxes as a homeowner can be overwhelming. Trusted Choice has compiled a list of deductibles that homeowners should know about – and take advantage of.
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Buying a House at Auction? 10 Things You Need to Know

Buying a home at auction can mean significant savings for potential bidders. Buyers are attracted to the opportunity to pay cents on the dollar for a home compared to traditional sales. But how does one go about buying a home at auction? What do you need to know? 1. You Haven't Missed the Boat Many buyers may think that since the housing market is in recovery, their chance at finding a home at auction has passed. While foreclosures are down from their record highs in 2009, they are still well above historic levels. Some areas are still quite depressed in terms of the housing market. According to real estate tracking data, states like California, Florida, Michigan and Ohio are still dealing with the housing fallout.
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Buying a Home with Bad Credit: 9 Steps

There are many reasons you might have a poor credit rating. Problems such as lack of gainful employment opportunities, expensive medical bills or other situations can lead you to have been late with bill payments or to have defaulted on loans. This all adds up to a low credit score which can create a host of problems for you, particularly when it comes to funding large purchases. If you are in such a situation, you may think that your desire to own a home is one that will never be realized. However, the following nine steps will show you how to turn your situation around and become a proud homeowner in a surprisingly short amount of time. Give consideration to the following nine tips, and you may finding yourself holding the keys to your new home before you know it.
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10 Tips for Buying a House on Contract

Many Americans choose to purchase their homes on contract. This sort of deal can be a good idea for those who want to be homeowners but lack the funds for a sizeable down payment or cannot qualify for financing through a bank or mortgage company. When you purchase a house on contract, the homeowner retains the title to property while you continue to make agreed-upon monthly payments. The title will not be transferred to your name until you have paid it off in full. While these deals can provide you with a great way to purchase an affordable property, there are a number of things that can go wrong. By using the following ten tips, you can avoid a lot of potential problems.
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How to Buy a House with Low Income

As available, affordable rental housing has become harder and harder to find since the housing market fallout of 2009, many low- to moderate-income earners are finding their lease has less value than it once did. Meanwhile, the credit crunch has put many more demands on low-income earners before they can qualify for a home loan or mortgage. It may be harder for modest earners to become homeowners, but not impossible. Help is still available for those who qualify. 1. Weigh the Pros and Cons of Homeownership vs. Renting In some areas, renting may still make fiscal sense. According to real estate agent Daryl Bronniche, it's important to compare your costs of continuing to rent to the costs of homeownership in your area.
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Should I Rent or Buy a Condo?

The decision of whether to buy or rent a condo depends on several factors. Finances are one piece of the puzzle, but not the only aspect you should consider. If you're struggling with which side of the buy versus rent fence you're on, considering the following pros and cons of each. 1. Calculate the Price-to-Rent Ratio The term price-to-rent ratio is one that real estate agents like Daryl Bronniche use to help his clients find affordable housing. "Basically, it tells you which option makes more fiscal sense," he said. It involves basic math and is less complex than it sounds. Simply find a condo in your area for sale and a condo for rent. Be sure they have similar features such as the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms and comparable square footage.
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9 Steps to Buying the House of Your Dreams

What are the best first steps to buying a house? We put together the answers and support you need to make the home buying process smooth and free of regret. Read on for a step-by-step guide that can show you how to buy a home that will meet your needs for years to come. 1. Fall In Love with Your Job and Your City First The days of flipping real estate are over in most areas. These days, if you want to own a home, you need to be willing to commit. From Forbes Magazine: "Are rents cheap and homes costly in your city? Are you planning to move in the next year or two? Is your job looking iffy? If any of these apply, buying might not be a good move." Once you know that your job and your hometown are set for the next five to ten years, you can move on to the first of the steps in the buying process.
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What You Didn't Know about Purchasing a Home

Purchasing a home is an adventure full of highs, lows and bewilderment. You could spend your whole life studying books and advice columns on how to purchase a house and still not know it all. So we've done a bit of homework for you and boiled down a list of five inside facts and tips on home buying that you may not see elsewhere. 1. The Competition Is More Fierce Than You Think Many home buyers are confused and frustrated when they find that their first offer on the house of their dreams was unacceptable. They are thunderstruck when it turns out that the seller accepted a bid $15,000 lower than their own. Is this favoritism? No. This is the power of a savvy real estate investor.
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How to Buy a House with No Money Down

The hard part of buying your first home may be coming up with a down payment. Learn more about the ways to buy a home without having a down payment ready.
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Secrets of Buying a House with Cash

There are a few ways you might find yourself in a position where buying a house with cash is an option. You may have saved up your money for a long time, you may have come into a large sum of money through an inheritance or prize winnings, or you may have built up enough equity with another home to be in a position such that buying another house outright is possible. Whatever the reason, if you have the cash to do it, you may be wondering if purchasing a house outright is a wise decision. Buying a Home with Cash Has Obvious Advantages Two of the main advantages of buying a house with cash are apparent, but bear mentioning.
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How to Buy a House with No Credit

If you are considering buying a house but have not yet built up a credit history, you may find it very difficult to find a lender who is interested in working with you. This is because lenders use your credit history to determine what kind of a financial risk you pose to them. No credit usually means no loan. So what should you do if you really want to buy a house? The following tips and information may be able to help you understand how to buy a house with no credit. First, Are You Sure You Have No Credit? You may think that because you have no credit cards and have not made any large purchases such as a car, that you have no credit. You may, however, be wrong about that.
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How to Get Help Buying a Home

Many people put off purchasing their first home because they do not feel comfortable navigating through the process of buying a house, or perhaps because they feel they will not qualify for home financing. However, whether you are confused about the process, uncertain about what type of home is right for you, or unsure that you can meet financial requirements, there is plenty of help available to you. You just need to know where to look. What Kinds of Help Can a Real Estate Agent Provide? When you work with a real estate agent, you can obtain a great deal of assistance with buying your house. These agents are typically familiar with home prices, crime rates, schools and other neighborhood concerns in the areas in which they sell homes.
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What You Need to Know About Home Buying Programs

Do not give up on your dream of buying your first home just because you feel that you have a problem, such as a disability or poor credit, which can make homeownership impossible. A number of home buying programs available on the federal, state and local levels can help you when you are trying to buy your first home. Sometimes, you just have to know where to look.Credit Counseling Programs Poor credit is the most common hindrance to would-be homeowners. A bad credit rating can make it hard to get approval for a loan, and if you do get approval, the interest rate may not be a favorable one. Fortunately, you can find ways to improve your credit through credit counseling.
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The Easy Guide to Renting Your House

In today's real estate and job markets, more homeowners are turning to the business of becoming landlords. Whether they are holding on to a property until home values regain their losses, or they are taking on basement tenants to help with their mortgage payments, more and more people are renting out their homes. It is certainly not a light decision to make, and much thought should be put into becoming a landlord. Once you've reached the conclusion that renting is the way to go, however, there are many factors to keep in mind.
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8 Home Buying Mistakes You Don't Want to Make

If you are planning to buy your first home, this is an exciting time in your life. Here at Trusted Choice®, we want to help you avoid those house buying mistakes that people often make. We want to see you move into a great home, one that will not cause you to feel buyer’s remorse. For this reason, we have compiled a list of the top 8 mistakes that first-time homebuyers tend to make, as well as advice on how to avoid them. Also, while you are looking at homes, you may want to speak with a Trusted Choice agent who can advise you about approximate insurance costs for houses in different neighborhoods.
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The First-Time Home Buyer's Credit Explained

Buying a home often involves additional, unexpected expenses. First time homeowners sometimes wonder why they have to make so many trips to the hardware and general goods stores during the first few months of home owning "bliss." With so much of the monthly income going out, most new homeowners are looking for ways to cut back and save. Following the housing crunch of 2008, the IRS issued a first time home buyer credit to shore up the dismal housing market. The purpose was to assist home buyers with a substantial tax break as an incentive to home ownership. This was one way new homeowners could get a break.
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8 Tips When Buying a House "For Sale by Owner"

When you are looking to buy a house, you are likely to come across an occasional “For Sale by Owner” sign. If one or more of these houses strongly appeal to you, you may be wondering how to go about looking at and purchasing this type of home. Buying a For Sale by Owner house can present a few risks and challenges, as you will not have the benefit of working with a real estate agent, but it can be done if you know what to watch out for and how to go about making the transaction go as smoothly as possible.
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Should You Buy a Condo or a House?

Making a significant purchase such as a house or condominium is a major decision. While no one but you can tell you which is best for your situation, it does help to learn the attractive features -- as well as the setbacks -- of owning a home versus condo living before you start looking for realtors. For Amelia Starr, a 30-year-old career woman with an active social life, living in her L.A. condo overlooking downtown was a no-brainer. "I love the convenient location and not having to worry about lawn care or any of the other hassles of traditional home ownership," Starr said.
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When to Buy a House: How Seasons Affect Home Prices

If you are wondering when to buy a house, and whether there is an ideal season or time of year to do so, it's important to know the facts and figures. Real estate may be cyclical, with sales taking place around the year, but some times of the year may be better than others. Houses are a big investment, and you don't want to miss out on your dream home just because you think that one part of the year is better for buying a home than another. Timing is essential, and good timing can be the difference between securing your home and losing it to another prospective buyer. Take a look at the following guide to figure out when you should really be considering making a purchase.
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How Much House Can I Afford?

Determining how much house you can buy versus how much house you should buy is receiving much more attention these days, since the 2009 housing market crash. In the early 2000s, many homeowners overextended themselves on huge mortgage payments and wound up in trouble when they lost their jobs. How do you calculate what you should be spending on a home? First, you run the numbers. What Is Your Monthly Income? Mortgage officer Roger Reitland says this is the first question lenders will ask potential mortgage recipients. This income should be documented with paystubs and tax returns. Any unreported income will not be factored into the loan application process.
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Buying a House with Cash, and How to Pay in Cash

Buying a house with cash is one option for prospective home buyers. However, if you want to pay in cash, you should know how to properly negotiate the deal and make sure that it's worth it on your end. Paying for a house with cash is certainly attainable if you have adequately saved along the way and are sure that you won't put yourself into a troubling position. If you are interested in buying a house with case, take a look at the following tips and suggestions.
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Should I Borrow from My 401k to Buy a House?

You've found your dream home and are now wondering, "Should I borrow from my 401(k) to buy a house?" You can use a 401(k) for payment towards a new home, but before you do, it's crucial to take a look at the disadvantages that come with it. However, there are advantages as well. Ultimately, it's up to you to decide whether or not you can take such a risk. The following tips and bits of advice can help you answer this common home buying question.
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Can I Buy a House? House Hunting Considerations

Should you buy a house? Should we buy a house? Can I buy a house? There's no getting around the fact that buying a home is an exciting but daunting process. Whether you are getting ready to buy your first home or you are trying to decide whether you should even buy a home, or you need to find a new home because you are starting a family, there are many questions you will probably want to have answered, including, "Can I buy a house?" Here are some common house buying scenarios along with related questions for you to consider.
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8 Home Safety Tips you Should Implement Now

As a mother with small kids I constantly look for ways to protect them and make sure we are all safe. When most of us parents think about home safety tips the first thing we want to do is learn more on how to protect our nest, we want to make sure we provide a safe shelter for the family to feel secure. They need to know that everything is OK under that roof.
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8 Home Security Tips You Never Thought Of

Your home is your sanctuary. It is a place for you to relax and unwind after a busy day. Your home is where you go to be and feel safe. If your home is underprotected or has been burglarized, your feeling of security may be in jeopardy. There were over 2 million burglaries in the United States in 2012. While that number is down from the previous year, it is still a statistic that no one wants to become a part of. Using a few simple home security tips and tricks, you can protect your belongings, thwart off would-be thieves and increase the security you feel while home and away.
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Prepare Your Kids for the Most Dangerous Room in the House

Without a doubt the kitchen is the most dangerous room in the house. Behind every closed door is the potential for injury or even death. So as a parent kitchen safety for kids has always been a priority. According to the US Fire Administration 30 percent of all house fires start in the kitchen. From 2008-2010 there were an average of 165,000 house fires annually caused by residential cooking, resulting in over 330 deaths and upwards of 10,000 injuries. But it's not just fires that make the kitchen such a scary place.
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Buying a House Without a Realtor: Pros and Cons to Consider

Everyone strives to save money on major purchases. So, when it comes to buying a house, paying a Realtor's commission can seem daunting and expensive. The fee—often based on a percentage of the cost of the home—can tally thousands of dollars. But for that money, a potential homeowner gets days, weeks or even months of service and guidance from a housing professional. Are you considering buying a house without a Realtor or real estate agent?
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8 Things to Know When Buying Your First Home

With housing prices remaining below former market peaks, and mortgage interest rates remaining historically low, buying your first home in today's market can be a wise investment. For first-time homebuyers, this process can be stressful and confusing. The best way to avoid undue pressure and frustration is to conduct careful research and prepare for potential pitfalls. Before you start looking for your dream home, consider the following steps that will make buying your first home a positive experience.
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7 Mortgage Questions to Ask a Lender or Broker

A home is one of the biggest investments a person will ever make. You will likely ask your lender or broker several mortgage questions along the way. Whether you are interested in purchasing your first home, need to secure a home loan or need home insurance or you are ready to move to another home, knowing more about how the process works and finding out the answers to key frequently asked questions, such as the ones listed below, can make the entire process much easier.
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New and Used Car Purchase Agreements 101

It is not uncommon for consumers to make the mistake of signing contracts without reading them first. However, once you have signed a contract, you are legally bound to adhere to the terms to which you have agreed. This is particularly important to keep in mind when you are signing a car purchase agreement for an expensive new or used car. It is easy to be overwhelmed and excited about your purchase and just go along with what the salesperson tells you, but you need to pay attention to what you are signing. What Is a Car Purchase Agreement? Car dealerships use a car purchase agreement, or car sale agreement, to finalize a sale. These contracts serve as a sales agreement between the buyer and seller.
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Buyer's Remorse? How to Return Your Car To the Dealership

Returning a new car to the dealer is a little like returning hot lava to a volcano. Most likely, it's not going to happen without a lot of time, finesse and perhaps an attorney. But it isn't impossible. In fact, some dealerships now offer a no-hassle new car return policy to attract buyers with low-risk deals and trial periods. You do have to act fast, however. Kathryn Hatter at The Nest writes, "Make your return decision as quickly as possible. Some auto dealers have a 24-hour return policy for new car purchases. If you think you’re going to return the vehicle, don’t drive it. Keep it in new condition." Even if your dealership offers no solution for auto buyer's remorse, you might still be able to reason your way out of a bad deal with the right approach and a charitable dealer. Read on for some tips and insights into returning a new car to the mother ship.
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Car Depreciation: How Much Have You Lost?

When people buy homes, they purchase them with the expectation that the value will rise over time, building equity. This is not the case with cars. These expensive purchases lose value over time, and the rate of loss varies according to the car’s age, make and model. You may not realize this, but automobile depreciation is actually the single most expensive cost of owning a new car. Even cars that are well maintained and kept in pristine condition decrease in value over time. When you purchase a new car, you are spending a lot of hard-earned money on it, so it's a good idea to consult a car depreciation calculator to get an idea of your car’s projected worth.
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6 Used-Car Negotiation Tips

So, you've made the decision to buy a used car. You've researched makes and models and settled on a few options. Or, you may have your perfect used vehicle in mind and are just deciding how to go about purchasing it. Wherever you stand in your process of purchasing a new car, paying the right price is important. Being able to negotiate (or haggle) is an important tactic to employ while shopping for a used car. You don't want to pay too much, and you don't want to buy a car that will break down after rolling off the car lot. Conn Wilson, manager of Aamco Transmission in Richmond, Kentucky, knows this story all too well. He sees customers who jump the gun in their used car negotiation and end up having to sink a large amount of money into it just to get it back on the road. He's compiled the top 5 tips for us on how to negotiate a used car price.
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How to Find Towable Cars for Your RV Vacations

Towable cars help you keep that feeling of freedom while on the road with your RV. Rather than having to unplug the electricity, plumbing and cable every time you need to head into town for supplies, you can simply unhitch your towable car and hit the road for short jaunts and sightseeing. Many travelers become accustomed to the convenience towable cars offer and never leave home without them. Bob Livingston writes for MotorHome Magazine, "We left our dinghy home on our last trip and it felt as though we were missing a friend. You know that sinking feeling when you hit the road and discover you left something at home? It’s not quite like forgetting your dog, but leaving our Jeep at home was almost as traumatic."
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9 Best Winter Cars

The Farmer's Almanac was spot on this year. This is a bitterly cold, miserably wet winter for many Americans. Let's look at the best cars in the snow and try to get some traction in all this mess. What Makes a Great Winter Car? You don't have to drive a snowmobile to make it home safely in the blizzard. Even a sports car can get the job done, with the right preparation. Nevertheless, there are some vehicles better suited to harsh conditions than others. Automotive columnist Eric Peters offers his criteria for the best cars to use in winter weather.
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These 8 Cars Are the Cheapest to Maintain

Buying a car may seem like a hefty financial responsibility – even cheap used cars cost big chunks of money. However, the investment doesn't stop with the car payment. Every mile you drive costs money, whether it's in gas, maintenance or repairs. Typically, most used cars will come from the dealership with an automatic enrollment in a "maintenance reminder" program. This may include letters, notifications by email or even notifications by your car's control panel. Either way, cars are expensive to maintain and repair. Here's a list of just a few of the maintenance expenses you can expect to pay for when owning a used car:
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How to Get the Best Deal on a Nearly New Car

Everyone likes saving money. With most households spending upwards of 20 percent of monthly income on cars or trucks, it's important to think about budgeting when it comes to that auto purchase. The good news is, there is no shortage of ways to save money on vehicles. The easiest and most effective way to save money on your car is by buying it slightly used, or nearly new. Why Buy New When Slightly Used Will Do? A vehicle loses nearly 20 percent of its value during the first year it is driven. That's a huge loss in such a short period, and the reason why so many car enthusiasts joke about the "$5,000 drive out of the dealer's parking lot." After that first year, the car's value depreciates more slowly for a time. When a car reaches its fifth or sixth year, the value drops quickly again, making it a cheap deal for any potential buyer.
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Car Add Ons: Should You Buy? Should You Pass?

Car dealers and auto parts salespeople love selling car add ons. Based on the number of fins tailing off the back of people's bumpers and the number of useless car alarms polluting the airwaves of most towns and cities, it would appear theses salespeople are good at their jobs. Most car add ons are worthless. Do any of them improve performance, safety or aesthetics? Let's take a look. If you've ever purchased a new car from a dealer, you are aware of the sales tactics used to convince you the car you've chosen would be even better "if only you purchase these exclusive dealer add ons." Don't take the bait. The only extra protection that may be worthwhile is either extended warranties (for car purchases, read the fine print) or gap insurance (for leased vehicles, again, read the fine print). And you might even reject some of these offers.
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How to Buy a Car if You're Upside Down on Your Loan

The recent economic upheaval left many Americans with large amounts of debt and other financial problems. One such problem is the upside down car loan. You have likely heard about the many houses that homeowners have walked away from once they owed more than the home’s value. Similarly, car owners are finding themselves perplexed when the amount they owe on a car surpasses it's current value. Are you in this position? There's some good news. How Does an Upside Down Car Loan Happen? An upside down car loan, also known as a negative equity car loan, is a loan where you owe more for your car than it is worth. You can get yourself into such a situation in a number of ways:
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10 Things You Didn't Know About Buying Cars at Auction

All over the U.S., you can find car dealer auctions open to the public. That means buying cars at auction prices is an option for just about anyone, even if you don't have a dealer's license. If you're interested in buying cars at wholesale prices, take a look at our car auction guide to find out how to buy the car you want at auction, just like a dealer. Car dealer auctions are open only to those with a dealer license issued by the state. You can get your own dealer license if you wish, but the process can be long and difficult. Each state has its own set of requirements for car dealer licensing, usually with a set number of cars you must buy and sell each year to qualify.
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The Complete Guide to Shipping Your Car

There are many reasons why you may want to have a car shipped to you. The most common reason is to complete a used car transaction between private parties over the Internet. According to Bankrate.com, there are an estimated 15 million cars purchased online each year. Someone who lives in the northern United States where rust is common problem may want to purchase a used car from a southern state, where car bodies tend to stay in pristine shape. In the case of classic or rare cars, some buyers are willing to spare no expense when it comes to getting the car into their possession, and shipping a car is very common for these buyers. There are other reasons you may want to have a car shipped. For example, if you will be flying to a destination because you are relocating or taking an extended vacation, you may want to have the car shipped separately. Or, if you purchase a used or new car while you are a long distance from home but do not want to trade in your old vehicle, you may choose to have one of the cars shipped to your home.
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Learn How to Buy a Repo Car

Buying repossessed cars can be a great way to save money. Buyers can often purchase a vehicle at a cost lower than fair market value. However, buying repo cars can be tricky, especially if you are unfamiliar with the way the repossessed car trade works. We've put together a quick guide to help you find and buy repossessed cars safely and at minimum cost. Use Caution When You Buy Repo Cars or Trucks: Lenders can repossess cars from the registered owners if the registered owners default on car payments. The LA Times reports that, depending on the laws in your state, a payment may need to be late for just a few days in order for a bank to file a levy on a car and send an order to repossess it.
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How to Get a Car Loan the Easy Way

If you are planning to buy a new or used car in the near future and have never before financed such a purchase, you may be wondering how to get a car loan. Even if you have experience with auto loans, you may be wondering how to get the best possible rate. To ensure that you get your loan easily and at a competitive interest rate, it is important that you understand your different options and how financing works. By preparing, you will have the knowledge necessary to proceed with confidence. Nearly every new and used car dealership you visit will have a partnership with a lending agency. Through these agencies, the dealerships can offer financing options when you purchase vehicles from the dealer lots.
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The Complete Guide to Wheelchair Vans

Whether you've just begun looking for a wheelchair van or you've been in the market for one for quite some time, it's important to know the ins and outs of these vehicles, along with the resources available to you as a buyer.This list of resources to help you find the best wheelchair van for your situation, along with budget tips, aid resources and much more. Here are just a few statistics surrounding the wheelchair van industry: 54 million people in the United States are disabled. 5% of children 5 to 17 years of age have disabilities. 10% of adults aged 18 to 64 years of age have disabilities. 38% of those 65 years and older have disabilities.
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Can You Lease a Pre-Owned Car?

Question: Can You Lease a Pre-Owned Car? Answer: Yes, in many cases, you can lease a pre-owned car. You may be able to get a used car lease from your credit union, bank or local dealer. In fact, leasing a pre-owned car can sometimes be more cost-effective than leasing a new car. Pre-owned car leases start out at a lower capitalized cost, and if you choose a vehicle that holds value well, your payments can be much lower than what you would pay for a brand new vehicle. But whether it is a good choice for you depends on your needs, budget and options. Read on to find more tips and insights into leasing a used car.
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Auto Brokers 101: Know What You're Getting Into

According to Edmunds.com, more car buyers than ever choose to purchase vehicles through auto brokers. But is a professional car-buying agent worth the money when you could broker your own deal at the dealership? In most cases, it depends on what you want to buy, whether that be a new car, a used car or a lease. It also depends on how much you know about the finer details of car buying and how much time you are willing to spend haggling at the dealership. The final consideration is cost. But if you hire an auto broker that is worth its salt, the price of its services will seem minuscule compared to the thousands of dollars you save on the deal.
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Are You in the Military? Find the Best Car Discounts

re is no shortage of ways U.S. military members, veterans and even their spouses can save on the purchase of cars. Whether you are fresh off your last deployment and need a new set of wheels, or you just finished basic training and want a new ride, there's a way to save. Eligibility differs among the makers, so check your status to see if you qualify for some of these sweet military car deals. Dealers Who Appreciate Your Service Some carmakers are doing more than just offering those yellow magnetic ribbons to stick to cars. The following automobile manufacturers offer discounts to current and former members of the armed services.
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Car Buyer Fees 101: Insurance, Taxes and Tabs

The car sales tax and other mysterious dealership fees have a way of sneaking up on you. You find the car you want, and then you haggle for hours or maybe days until you feel satisfied with the price. But now there are all these other numbers flying around the sales office, and, suddenly, your great deal seems a little less great. So, let's talk about that. What are the car taxes, title fees, insurance and other tabs you have to pay to get out of the dealership with your new car? And how do you know when it's getting out of hand?
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How to Buy a Great Used Hybrid Car

Buying a used hybrid is a popular option for car buyers, and this option is growing more popular each year. CBS Money Watch sums it up this way, "Buying a used hybrid avoids the new-car hybrid premium that can take many years to recoup in gas savings. And yet you still get the environmental benefits – both high gas mileage and low emissions of climate-affecting greenhouse gases and other pollutants." It's hard to justify paying $8,000 to $20,000 extra for a new hybrid when there are more than 400,000 used models on the market these days, according to Edmunds.com. But how do you know when you've found the used hybrid that's right for you?
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What You Didn't Know About Free Car Maintenance Programs

When you're out shopping for new cars, you might find yourself faced with a lot of apples-to-oranges comparisons. A free car maintenance program is one of the more popular incentives car companies use to try to sway you to their side of the street. Automakers like to advertise their maintenance programs like a carrot in front of potential buyers, promising worry-free driving, easy upkeep and sometimes even valet pick-up and drop-off. But is it enough to tempt you? When is free car maintenance worth it? Read on for some tips on weighing free maintenance programs against price and other incentives.
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9 Steps to Help You Compare Compact Cars

It can be both fun and frustrating to compare small cars. This year's offerings include roomy interiors, superior gas mileage and compact sedans with turbo-charged engines. If you find yourself overwhelmed when you compare compact cars, read on. This handy small car evaluation guide will help you make your decision with confidence. The Compact Car Comparison Checklist Affordability The first way to pare down your list of candidates is with your budget. According to U.S. news, the top small sedans this year range between $13,000 and $35,000. That's quite an array of choices.
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Know the Pros and Cons Before Buying an Electric Car

Although fans of science fiction are dismayed that, well into the new millennium, we still haven't managed to roll out the flying car, automakers around the world are pulling out all the stops in the latest and greatest vehicle advances. Consumers have more choices of engine technologies with the new hybrid vehicles coming out of production, but for those who want the pure electric vehicle experience, buyers are wading in unknown waters. What are the pros and cons to owning and driving an electric vehicle? We've compiled a definitive list of pros and cons from all the online car experts to give you an unbiased look at the future of cars.
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Got Teenagers? The 6 Best Cars to Buy

The best cars for teenagers aren't as expensive as you might think. This is welcome news for parents everywhere, as budgets tighten and family contributions to that first car budget get smaller and smaller each year, according to a study by Allstate. We've mined the recommendations of MSN Auto and Forbes automotive writers to put together a short list of the top six starter cars for teenagers. We covered a range of makes, styles and price points and took into consideration the issues that matter most to moms and dads: price, safety, reliability and insurability.
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What You Should Pay for a New Car

If you've ever shopped for a new car, you've heard the various pricing terms the dealership uses. Like many consumers, you may have been confused as to why there were so many different terms being thrown around and what to pay for a new car. While there is only one price you should truly be concerned with (the purchase price), understanding what the other terms mean can help you pay the lowest purchase price possible.
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Feeling Patriotic? Here Are the Top Ranked American-Made Cars

American author Alexandra Paul once said, "The cars we drive say a lot about us." You may be a truck person, sport car enthusiast or minivan mom - regardless, our vehicles are an extension of our values, our passions and ourselves. One of the biggest trends in vehicles over the last 10 years has been a shift from foreign-built vehicles to cars and trucks built stateside. Not only are "made in America" or "locally made" products flying off shelves at stores and farmers markets, but in the car lot, American-made cars are hot commodities.
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Why You Shouldn't Ignore the Pre-Purchase Car Inspection

The first piece of advice anyone gives to a used car buyer is to have the vehicle thoroughly inspected by a licensed, third-party mechanic. Why, then, is this tip so often ignored? It may be because too many consumers don't know how important it is; they don't know how to go about getting an inspection done, or they simply don't realize how affordable it is to have done. Here's the 411 on pre-purchased used car inspections to put those reasons to rest.
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The Definitive 5 Step Car Buying Guide

The only thing that might take up less of your monthly budget than your mortgage or rent is a car payment. For some, the expenses of car payments, insurance, gas and maintenance can reach up to 20 percent of monthly income. That's why making informed decisions about large purchases is so important.When buying a car, be sure it will fit into your budget. Use the following as a car buying guide to get you a great car for your money. Step 1: Decide What Kind of Car You Need Do you truly need an off-road, four-wheel drive model to get across town on your daily commute? Do you really need a full-size truck capable of hauling a 30-foot boat (that you do not own)? Here are a few more questions to guide you in your buying decision:
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10 Car Buying Secrets You Need to Know

No one likes feeling ripped off. And while not every car salesperson is trying to pull one over on you, plenty of unscrupulous sellers will. Buying a car is often one of the biggest purchases for a household. By following these well-kept car buying secrets, you can avoid the regret so many car buyers feel after they've already bought the wrong car at the wrong price. You wouldn't buy a house without careful research and planning, and neither should you buy a car without doing your homework. As car payments often come in a close second to mortgage or rent payments, any decision you make can significantly impact your monthly budget. Find out what kinds of cars meet your needs and budget, and compare makes and models from a variety of manufacturers. Also, be sure to price the vehicles that have caught your eye. When you go to the dealer with a binder full of research, pricing information and offers from their competitors, you're already ahead of the negotiation game.
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Which Is the Best First Car for You?

Many people have very strong opinions about what models make good first cars. Most of the time, it's based on sentiment rather than facts, and if you ask, you're likely to hear fond tales from just about anyone. "My first car was a cherry red Pinto ..." followed by long accounts of automotive horror and glory. The truth we tend to overlook is that you will have many cars over the course of a lifetime, and the best first car for each situation depends on your particular needs and concerns at that moment. In this article, we'll look at some of the common firsts all of us face and examine the best first cars for each situation.
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Read This Before Buying a Car Online

As the digital age settles in to stay, consumers are becoming more and more comfortable ordering all sorts of goods online. From clothing to books to electronics, Internet sales are quickly approaching $200 billion annually in the U.S. Some of those sales now include cars. Most brick and mortar dealerships now offer Internet sales departments, and various new websites feature online car sales only. The number of consumers purchasing their next vehicle with a click of a mouse is increasing. Many car buyers still prefer the old method of car shopping over the digital way, however. Find out here if buying cars online might be a great method for you - or not worth the hassle.
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The 8 Hottest New Cars for 2015

The current year’s cars have only just begun to show up on the roadways, and already the buzz is about the new cars of 2015 due to come out in the fall. As carmakers continue to compete for recognition within a very competitive market, the vehicles they are producing are becoming more stylish and innovative. We have compiled a list of some of the hottest new cars of 2015 to get you excited about what car makers have in store for consumers this year. If you are thinking about buying a car in the near future, you may want to consider waiting until these new vehicles hit showrooms. Do you agree with our choices? Is there a vehicle we should have included on this list? Tell us about it in the comments.
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What Car Should I Buy?

Whether you are purchasing your first car or your 10th, shopping for a new vehicle can be both exciting and perplexing. With hundreds of different vehicles available on the market, it may be difficult to narrow your choices. The first thing you need to do before you set foot in a dealership’s showroom is to answer the question, “What kind of car should I buy?” But how do you make this determination? To help you decide on what car to buy, we came up with a blueprint you can use.
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8 Steps to Buy Cars with Low or No Down Payment

Aside from your rent or mortgage, your car payment probably eats up more of your budget than any other expense. For those who paid a low or no down payment and those with moderate to low credit scores, this might feel like a fact of life. Owning a car doesn't have to break your bank, however, and there are ways to save even if you haven't always managed your finances well. By following these eight simple steps, you can avoid paying more than you should on a car. 1. Know Your Credit History Many people make the mistake of leaving the credit check to the dealer. You should come prepared with this knowledge before you even start looking at cars. Some less-than-scrupulous dealers may even try to tell you that your score is lower than it really is. That's why obtaining your credit score beforehand is so important. You can receive a free credit report every year and download it from the Internet.
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The 6 Best All Wheel Drive Cars

The number of automobiles featuring all wheel drive and four wheel drive has increased significantly during the past 30 years. Today, nearly a full third of all vehicles sold in the U.S. offer AWD or 4WD driving. You may be wondering if either of these driving capabilities is right for you, and, if so, which model would work best for your situation. All Wheel Drive vs. Four Wheel Drive Many times, people consider these two terms to be interchangeable, but significant differences do exist.
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How to Select the Safest Cars: A Buyer's Guide

On average, 40,000 motorists die on U.S. highways and county roads each year. When the safety of your family and passengers is at stake, finding the safest new or used cars on the market is a must. Whether you are looking to buy the next family vehicle, a teen's first car or a reliable set of wheels for a senior parent, this guide will identify the safest rides. Safest Cars for Teenagers Most new teen drivers would prefer to drive flashy two-door sports cars, and most of their parents cringe at the thought. With traffic collisions being the No. 1 cause of teen deaths in the nation, the safety of your child's car is paramount. Each year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety develops its list of Top Safety Picks – a coveted designation for automakers and a good indicator for crash-worthiness and overall safety for car buyers.
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How to Get the Most From Your Vehicle Tax Deduction

Every April, millions of Americans file taxes on their own, and many wonder if they successfully claimed all the deductions to which they are entitled. One overlooked type of deduction is the car deduction. Business owners who use vehicles as part of their day-to-day operations know that this deduction exists, but people who use cars for personal reasons typically do not. So, what vehicle tax deductions might you be entitled to? How Do You Use Your Vehicle?
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A No-Brainer New Car Checklist for Every Buyer

The purchase of a new car is an important decision. You will be investing a lot of money into your ride, so it is important that you do not find yourself saddled with regret shortly after you drive it home. It is possible that you will overlook small, annoying features while you are still checking out the car in the showroom. Thousands of new car owners have gone on to have buyer's remorse. We here at Trusted Choice® want you to be happy with your choice of car, so we have put together a new car checklist of things to look for before you sign a purchase agreement.
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15 Tips for Test Driving a Car

Test driving is the most important step in the process of buying a new car. This is the only true way to determine whether the vehicle you are considering is right for you. Just because the car looks great on paper does not necessarily mean that it will handle in a way that is comfortable to you. Do not judge what others have to say about the comfort, design or ride of a particular car; experience it for yourself and form your own opinions. The following are some tips that will enable you to make the most of your test driving experience. Whenever you visit showrooms to look at new cars, do so with the expectation that you may be taking one or two test drives while you are there.
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When Is the Best Time To Buy a Car?

Getting a great deal on a new car takes patience and strategic thinking. Salespeople at car dealerships have a lot of leeway when it comes to negotiating prices and included features. Regardless of whether you feel you are good at wheeling and dealing, you can greatly increase your chances of landing a great deal on your next new vehicle by simply figuring out the best time to buy a car. Here at Trusted Choice®, we are committed to helping our customers save money not just on insurance but on all the things that are important in their lives. That is why we have compiled this article detailing the best and worst time to buy a new car. Use this guide when you are preparing to buy your next car or truck, and then let us know in the comments how you did.
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How to Get the Best Deal on a New Car

Shopping for a new car can be a tricky, but it doesn't have to be. The best car deals can go to anyone who knows a bit about the way the process works. Take a look at these 8 tips we've compiled to show you how to get the best deal possible on your next car. Don't Give Up Your Best Leverage You have a trump card that you can freely exercise at any point that can really give you an edge. Namely, you can walk out. The best way to make this work to your advantage is to do a little pre-shopping and get competitive price offers from several local dealers before you settle on the one you like best. Then if things start to head south, you can politely say, "Well, it looks like this isn't going to work out," and head for the next dealer on your list. Chances are you won't make it out the door before the dealer calls you back to the table with a better offer. Will this be the best deal you can find on a new car? It just might be - that salesperson is going to be working hard to get your business.
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The Best Used Car Buying Guide for Consumers

Buying a used car often makes more fiscal sense than buying a brand new car. Cars as little as a year old are as much as 30 percent cheaper than they were when they first arrived at the dealership. Don't let the potential pitfalls of buying a used car overshadow your financial savvy. We've all seen the stereotypes play out in movies and on television about the used car salesperson. Not all used car sellers are out to rip you off, but being prepared for it will ensure you get a fair deal. By following these simple steps, you can avoid driving a lemon home.
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8 Tips for Buying Your First Car

So, you’re buying your first car. Congratulations! For many Americans, buying a first car is a rite of passage into adulthood. But these days, many young adults choose to work and ride public transportation all the way through college, sometimes well into their twenties before they decide on the best first car to buy. The way to buy your first car depends on your income, the local market, your driving needs and many other factors. Before you venture out into the wilds of dealerships and car trade ads, make sure you and your car buying partner look over this list of tips for how to buy a first car. Let's start.
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10 Car Buying Tips To Get You a Sweet Ride

Whether you are shopping for your first car or or your tenth car, finding the right vehicle that fits your needs and budget is important. Aside from your home, your vehicle is probably one of your biggest investments. Nobody likes to feel ripped off on such a large purchase. The following 10 car buying tips will help you avoid common pitfalls consumers can fall victim to when buying a car or truck. 1. Do Your Homework This is the first of the tips for buying a car: do your homework. Terry Berg, a veteran car salesperson with an independent dealer that offers all the top brands from domestic manufacturers, said this is the first step any potential customer should take.
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The Complete Car Price Guide: 9 Ways to Save

When it comes to new cars, the number you are bound to run up against most often in advertisements, brochures and on the sales floor is the sticker price. However, the price of a car is so much more than the big black number on the window. This common-sense, comprehensive car price guide can help you avoid marketing traps and pitfalls so you get the best vehicle for your driving needs. 1. Sticker Price Is Not the Only Price This is the price the dealer wants you to pay. It is the MSRP, or Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price. The price the dealer charges you may, in fact, be higher or lower than the MSRP price, depending on demand and your negotiation skills. Despite the impression a salesperson may give you, the sticker price is almost always negotiable.
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Leasing a Car: Do the Pros Outweigh the Cons?

Leasing a new car or truck is an attractive option for many motorists. About 20 percent of all drivers lease their vehicles. When it comes to luxury cars, more than half of their drivers choose to lease. However, leasing isn't right for everyone or every car. The vast majority of consumers still choose to buy their car. Which option is right for you? Here's a list of pros and cons for leasing and buying a car that can help you decide what to do. Pros of Leasing a Car One of the biggest "pros" about leasing a car is that it is always under warranty, and you save on big mechanics' bills because newer vehicles break down less often than older ones.
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5 Places Where Smart Shoppers Buy The Best Cars

Finding the best place to buy a new car is easy since your options are limited to dealerships. But when you are searching for a used car, your options are numerous. So, how do you determine where to get your next ride? For many, the choice of where and how to go about shopping for a car is a personal one. What one person may determine is the best option might not be ideal for another. We here at Trusted Choice® want your car buying experience to be a good one, so we have compiled a list of places where you might consider shopping, along with the pros and cons of each.
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Buying a Car with Cash: What to Know

You have found the perfect vehicle that fits your needs and budget, and now you're wondering how to pay for it. Buying a car with cash has its benefits and its drawbacks. Before you spend a sizable chunk of your savings, find out if buying a car with cash is right for you. 1. Is It Worth Dipping into Savings To Buy a Car with Cash? If you can answer yes to the question, “Can I buy a car with cash?” make sure you’re not thinking of dipping into hard-earned savings or your retirement account. Taking even a small loan from your retirement funds could leave you in a bind when you really need that money. Whether or not you should buy a car with cash is a trickier question to answer.
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9 Questions to Ask When Buying a Used Car

The purchase of a used car is a major decision that you should take with care. By obtaining answers to the following questions, you can be sure that you are making a clear and informed decision about your car or truck before you make the purchase. Questions to Research Before You Begin Your Vehicle Search If you have a specific car in mind ahead of time, take the time to research it online before you head to the car dealership. If you have found a car that you are unfamiliar with and it seems like a great deal, you may want to do a quick check on it using a smartphone, or if that is unavailable, on a computer at home. Some sales people may even let you do a quick online search using their PC if they think that it will lead to a sale.
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5 Cars with the Best Back and Lumbar Support

People look for many things when purchasing a new car. They look for a vehicle that gets great gas mileage or that has ample room for their families. They look for a car that is loaded with features or has an intuitive dashboard. They look for something that they will be happy to see parked in their driveway or garage. But how many people consider the vehicle’s long-term comfort in terms of back and lumbar support? A car may feel extremely comfortable during a 15-minute test drive, but if it lacks the proper support, longer drives may become very hard on you physically. This is why it is also important to look at what the car manufacturer offers in terms of back and lumbar support in the seats.
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One Popular Childhood Prank Burns a Home to the Ground

If you’ve got teens in your life, it could happen to you. You wake up early in the morning and shuffle out to the porch, only to find your yard, trees, hedges, and rooftop covered in snowy white toilet paper. That’s what happened to the Crausewell’s, in Dora, Alabama. The mother and her teenaged son spent the entire morning picking 2-ply tissue off the grass, trees, and house. Everything was cleaning up nicely, except for the big magnolia in the front yard. So the Crausewell’s decided to try burning a square of the tissue with a lighter. The paper caught fire instantly, but instead of burning up the roll and into the tree, it broke away and landed on the grass. Fires started popping up and spreading all over the lawn, then the trees, then the propane tank in the back yard, and finally, the house
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The New Car Buying Guide

Buying a new car can be exciting, but it can also be overwhelming and stressful if you do it without preparing. You want to find the perfect car at a great price and avoid regretting such an expensive purchase. Let the following steps guide you to do just that. How to Decide Which Car Is Best for You The first step in buying a car is to determine what your needs are, not your "wants"; the right car will become clear to you with a few parameters in place. Do you really need all-wheel drive? What kind of driving do you really do, freeway or city miles? Guide yourself with the following questions to find out what type of features you may want was you discover which car to buy and why:
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Posted in Cars