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Top 10 Most Expensive Mistakes You're Making on Your Home

Homes cost a lot of money to maintain. But are you spending extra money unnecessarily on the upkeep of your home? Here are 10 of the most expensive mistakes you could be making in your home.

1. Using Traditional Light bulbs

If you still have incandescent light bulbs in your home, you could be throwing a lot of money away every month on inflated electric bills. Over its life span, an incandescent bulb can use $180 worth of electricity. A CFL will only use $41 worth of electricity over the same time period. Even better is the LED bulb, which only uses $30 per bulb. Think what replacing every light bulb in your home could do to your home's bottom line.

2. Ignoring a Leaky Faucet

A leaky faucet that drips one drop per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year, which is enough water to take more than 180 showers. Some of us live in areas where water is plentiful, but for those of us in areas plagued with drought, this could be costing you a fortune. Fix or replace your leaky faucet and save a ton on your water bill.

3. Using the Wrong Air Filter Size

We all sometimes forget to change out the air filters for our HVAC systems or accidentally buy the wrong size. But using the wrong filter or a dirty filter can increase your power bill and cause expensive problems for your furnace down the road. Use the correct filters for your system, and set a reminder to change them after the recommended amount of time. You won't regret it.

4. Not Customizing Temperature

Invest in a customizable thermostat. If you're away at the office all day, you can program your heater to shift down a few degrees while you're gone and then shift back up shortly before you return home. Heating or cooling an empty home wastes a lot of money in energy costs.

5. Not Adjusting Air Vents Properly

Is one room in your home hot, while the others are cold? Oftentimes homeowners will crank up the air conditioning in the whole house to combat hot temperatures in one area. Instead, adjust air vents to direct the flow of air more evenly throughout your entire home. Professionals will come regulate this to ensure that your entire home is receiving the same amount of air conditioning or heating.

6.Over Watering Lawn

Many homeowners have their sprinkler systems programmed to come on in the early morning hours for optimum lawn health. This can become a problem, however, if you're never around to see what you're actually watering. A broken sprinkler head could be causing a fountain, or the trajectory of your sprinkler may be directed at a fence instead of your lawn. Periodically run your sprinklers during the day so you can see how they are performing when you're not around.

7. Water Heater Temperature Set Too High

Unless you have a tankless water heater, your water heater is keeping the water in its tank hot 24/7. If you don't keep an eye on the temperature as each season changes, you may be paying too much to heat your water. Decrease the temperature in the summer, and bump it back up when winter comes.

8. Leaky Windows and Doors

Leaky windows and doors are great places for cold, winter winds to enter your home. Many homeowners simply ignore them and crank up their heaters. Caulk leaky windows and put rubber seal around doors to keep winter winds out and warmth in.

9. Paying a Handyman

Don't pay a handyman for a job that is simple enough to do yourself. If you're unsure of how to do something, look up video tutorials online. Doing simple tasks yourself can save you a lot of money.

10. Ignoring Curled Shingles

It may be easy to ignore problems on your roof, but it will only lead to bigger problems later. If you see any possible issues with your roof, repair them as soon as possible, as this will save you significant costs later.

Use these 10 tips to cut maintenance costs on your home today.

Is Your First Home Within Your Grasp Now?

Is Your First Home Within Your Grasp Now? | Keeping Current Matters

There are many people sitting on the sidelines trying to decide if they should purchase a home or sign a rental lease. Some might wonder if it makes sense to purchase a house before they are married and have a family. Others may think they are too young. And still others might think their current income would never enable them to qualify for a mortgage.

We want to share what the typical first-time homebuyer actually looks like based on theNational Association of REALTORS most recent Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers. Here are some interesting revelations on the first time buyer:

Is Your First Home Within Your Grasp Now? | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

You may not be much different than many people who have already purchased their first home. Meet with a local real estate professional today who can help determine if your dream home is within your grasp.

http://www.amitymtg.com


 

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    EMV Chip Card Overview

    EMV and Contactless 101 Series: EMV Chip Card Overview
    Soon every credit and debit card issued in the U.S. will contain an EMV chip--the most secure way to process in-person transactions. Named for EuroPay, MasterCard, and Visa, the EMV chip houses the card data in the microchip and produces a one-time code for each purchase, which will help reduce fraud.
    What is the liability shift?
    Starting on October 1, 2015, the liability shifts to businesses for fraudulent chip card transactions. This means if you accept a chip card with a magnetic stripe reader, you'll be responsible for the cost if the transaction is fraudulent.
     
    October 2015 & beyond
     
    Point of Sale
    Transaction
    Liability

     

    3 Smart cover plates to add to your home

    3 Smart Cover Plates to Add To Your Home Today

     

    It's rare that products we find in the home tech space are $20 or less. These three products are affordable, innovative and worth every cent!

    SnapPower USB Charger 

    SnapPower Night Light Cover Plate

     

    You can skip plugging in a night light with this innovative cover plate. This is a game changer for those nights where finding the outlet in the dark to plug in a phone is a struggle!

    Recessed Cover Plate

    Gain extra inches of space behind so furniture can fit flat against the wall and hide wires that go from your home theater system to your television in the wall.

    Buy here

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    The Joy of Giving: Who is on Your Shopping List?

    He ho-ho-holidays are almost here, so start making your Christmas-shopping list now. Here’s a little cheat-sheet to help you remember all the people who deserve a sincere “thank-you” for making your life easier 365 days of the year.

    Neighbors. You wave hello across the lawn and might even take each other for granted. But think of all the times your next-door neighbor has helped you out of a jam by walking your dog, accepting deliveries, and watching your house when you’re on vacation. Surprise your “closest” friends with a well-deserved holiday gift basket.

    Co-workers. These are the folks you see at the water cooler day in, day out – it’s your own version of “The Office.” Spread holiday cheer at your workplace, and you may feel an increased sense of camaraderie year-round.

    Clergy. You can always count on these spiritual leaders to lend words of wisdom and inspiration during life’s most joyous and most challenging times. On call at a moment’s notice, members of the clergy usually aren’t on our radar screens until we need their services. Celebrate the season of giving by wrapping up a little something special for them.

    Mail carrier/delivery people. It would be almost impossible to survive without your morning paper, that monthly magazine subscription, and all those packages that arrive on your doorstep as if by magic. Give the paperboy, mailman, and parcel carrier a generous pat on the back for providing dependable service despite rain or snow.

    Hairdressers/barbers. Life wouldn’t be nearly as fun without our occasional splurges – blowouts, highlights, mani-pedis, and waxing. Professionals who help you look and feel your best deserve a little recognition during this special time of the year. If you visit a hair stylist, manicurist, esthetician or masseuse on a regular basis, be sure to say “happy holidays” in your own way.

    Snow shovelers/lawn care staff. Where would we be without the maintenance people who clear our driveways during the winter, trim our hedges in the spring, mow our lawns in the summer, and clean our gutters in the fall? Don’t forget to get a gift for those special people who help keep your home and yard in tip-top shape all year long.

    Teachers. Grading papers, supervising field trips, and drafting lesson plans can be thankless activities, so show educators that you care. This is the time of year to wrap a thoughtful gift and write a note of appreciation to go along with it. Also remember other staff members like the school nurse, librarian, and the coach, who all take good care of your kids.

    School bus drivers. This has got to be one of the most stressful jobs out there — so much responsibility being the only grown-up in charge of a busload of noisy, active kids. All those early mornings on the road call for some serious recognition in December. Present your driver with an unexpected goody, and ask the kids to get in the act by decorating the wrapping paper and signing the card.

    Babysitters. Competent, dependable child-care providers help keep everything running smoothly on the home front. Without babysitters and nannies, parents might miss those big meetings at work and would surely have to send regrets to lots of dinner parties. Recognize the trusted person taking care of your child with a personalized gift that he or she will enjoy.

    Doctors/dentists. Whether it’s the physician who always works you into her schedule or the orthodontist who gives your kids a healthy smile, show your appreciation with a treat for the doctor and the office staff.

    When you make the effort to recognize helpful, indispensable people with gifts of gratitude, you’ll discover that it’s a surefire way to put them — and yourself — in the holiday spirit.

    - See more at: http://blog.bedbathandbeyond.com/2014/12/joy-giving-whos-shopping-list/#sthash.QdB27LIc.dpuf

    Microsoft Offering Free Mobile Version of Office

    Few golden geese in technology have survived as long as Office has for Microsoft.

    The suite of applications that includes Word, Excel and PowerPoint, first released in 1990, generated nearly a third of Microsoft's revenue during its last fiscal year - about $26 billion of $87 billion total. By some estimates, the software accounted for an even higher portion of the company's gross profits.

    But in a sign of the seismic changes underway in the tech industry, Microsoft, the world's largest software company, said on Thursday that it would give away a comprehensive mobile edition of Office. The free software for iPads, iPhones and Android tablets will do most of the most essential things people normally do with the computer versions of the product.

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    Milling Roads Friday October 3rd and Monday October 6th

    Milling in NaugatuckNaugatuck residents should be aware that tomorrow on Friday, October 3, and Monday, October 6, pavement milling will take place on Union City Road from Prospect Street to East Waterbury Road in addition to Clark Road from New Haven Road to the Prospect town line. The work schedule is planned to take place from 7 am-4 pm. Drivers, take caution!

    The above roads are expected to be repaved in the near future.

    During the allotted time frame, the Department of Public Works warns locals that utility structures will be elevated immediately following the milling operations. All drivers should be advised to find a different route, seeing as lane closures will most likely come into effect with officers on post directing traffic.

    To view the official press release, via the Borough of Naugatuck's official website, click here.

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      Uptick in US Housing Confidence Driven by an Unlikely Generation

      As the housing recovery continues, Americans are growing more confident in the housing market in general. And that confidence comes in part from a potentially surprising source: millennial renters, who to date have been perceived by many as largely uninterested in and/or unable to attain homeownership.

       

      But even as younger renters express a strong desire to one day buy a home, the question remains if they will be able to just yet, as difficult buying conditions persist. Millennial renters (aged 18-34) often have a lot of student debt and pay very high rents in many of the nation’s largest cities, which can make saving for a down payment difficult. In addition, the inventory of the least expensive, entry-level homes is also tight.

       

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