Home Maintenance

what to do with old towels? Re-purpose them! a picture of a basket full of towels

Rescue Old Towels From Oblivion

We have a problem with our towels and we've been asking ourselves "what to do with old towels". We only bought them 18 months ago, but they’ve already lost their fluffiness. I’m wondering if it’s because our new, energy-efficient laundry machines are less powerful than our apartment’s industrial machines, but it’s a problem whatever the reason. I’m not ready to buy new towels yet (see how I deftly…
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Five Ways Improve Your Home Value

We’re already refinancing our mortgage due to the recent rate drops (it’s a free refi that doesn’t increase our loan balance). So, we had to get reappraised. I didn’t think we’d see a value increase because it’s only been 4 months. Well, I was wrong. Our appraised value went up 2% in four months, and I think I’ve figured out why. If you’re planning to sell your house in a…
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A picture of n open refrigerator for the article when should you replace your refrigerator

Should You Replace a Refrigerator?

Last week our new fridge was finally delivered, and this weekend we spent quite a bit of time reversing the door so it swung the right away. So, first, a few tips on determining how long does a refrigerator last or when should you replace your refrigerator? and then a few tips on reversing a refrigerator door. Should I repair or replace my Refrigerator? When should you replace…
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Tips for Hiring Home Maintenance Contractors

Since we bought a foreclosure, we have to do more than the typical amount of maintenance a new homeowner is responsible for. Although the bank did the termite work (apparently a rarity with foreclosures), we have to trim trees, repair the roof, and fix a few other things that turned up in the inspection. While scheduling the work, I’ve learned a few things about hiring contractors. Get Referrals, Search Yelp,…
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The Cash for Appliances Program

In addition to the many other credits and programs included in the stimulus bill was a small allotment for the purchase of energy-efficient appliances. It’s taken months, but the credit will soon be available. Here’s how it works: How to Apply for Cash for Appliances Unlike Cash for Clunkers, the First-Time Homebuyers Credit, and the New Car Tax Credit, which were administered by the Federal government, the Cash…
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How to Set Up a Tool Sharing Database

I’ve talked about sharing tools communally to reduce the cost of home improvements before. The hardest part of tool sharing is knowing which of your neighbors owns which tools. If you’d like to save money on tools and give others in your area the benefit of the tools you own but rarely use, you can easily set up a tool sharing database with just a few clicks. It’s easy to…
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10 Steps to Move out of Your Apartment

Yesterday, I discussed situations that might require you to move out of your apartment.  There are some things you need when you move out of your apartment. Follow these tips for a successful move. I’ve also included advice for breaking a lease early. How to Break a Lease If you break the lease early, you may be liable for the rent until your landlord finds a new tenant. However,…
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Refi #2 – Am I Crazy?

Crazy like a fox! Yes, just one year after closing on my original purchase, I’ve refinanced my mortgage twice. It cost me nothing but a little bit of time and paper, but the combined refinances will save us $160 a month on the mortgage. Over ten years, that’s a whopping $15,000! How I Got Two No-Cost Refis in Six Months I have a mortgage broker friend. He emailed…
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How to Stay Cool This Summer

It’s starting to heat up around the country. Here in Los Angeles, it usually doesn’t really get hot until late June or early July, but right now we’re being walloped by a heat wave, just two weeks after the last one. This is the perfect time to start planning how you’ll keep cool this summer. Aside from last year’s tips for efficient air-conditioning use, here are a few tips…
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