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Hero Highlight Wednesday | Dog Rescue

Hero Highlight Wednesday

Many of us interact with everyday heroes on a daily basis. The people who are teachers, fireman, policeman, nurses, and doctors are of course considered everyday heroes. What is even more incredible are those people who innately do random acts of kindness for other’s including animals. These everyday heroes are truly inspiring. Watch this video and see how this families random act of kindness saved a dog who would have otherwise been left to die.

 

We are here to help with our closing cost grants for everyday heroes. Contact us for more info!

5 Great Ways to Celebrate Memorial Day Weekend

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This weekend many families will be celebrating what has become known as the first weekend of summer. Memorial Day weekend is a time for many to relax and enjoy an extra day off work. Traditionally the holiday was celebrated on May 30th, but it was moved to the last Monday of May in 1971. Memorial Day is a day on which those who died in active military service are remembered. This weekend while you are having fun and relaxing with family and friends, take time to honor those who died for our country. Here are 5 great ways to celebrate Memorial Day weekend.

Holiday Celebration Activities

1. Red, white and blue – Show your American spirit by wearing badges, pins, or a t-shirt, anything that shows your patriotism. For added family fun make one or more of these items with your children to wear to a family picnic this weekend.

2. Visit a Veteran’s hospital. Taking time to talk with elderly or injured veterans is a great way to bring cheer to their day, also you may very likely hear some incredibly captivating stories about their time in the service. To involve your children, another idea could be to create small potted plants/flowers to hand out at the hospital.

3. With children in mind, educate them about the history of Memorial Day and use the teaching time to make fun patriotic crafts with them. Check out these kid friendly patriotic projects .

4. Visit a national cemetery or local memorial and pay tribute to the fallen heroes by bringing flowers to lay or small flags to put in the ground. This too could be a family activity. It may seem a bit disturbing at first, but it will help children to begin to understand that those who serve in our military sometimes pay the ultimate sacrifice and die to protect our country. It helps to give meaning to the reason we honor their bravery.

5. Make a donation. Gather up good conditioned used items around your house and take them to a veterans donation facility, check this site to find one near you. If you are so inclined, have a garage sale this weekend and donate your proceeds to a service family who lost a loved one or a veterans organization. Get your family and neighbors involved too.

Hero Highlight Wednesday | Meet Hoot Gibson

Here at Everyday Hero Housing Fund, we are committed to all the wonderful people who give to others, whether that be through their employment or as a volunteer. We want to share some of the stories we find about these everyday heroes with you. Our new weekly post will be called “Hero Highlight Wednesday”. If you know an everyday hero, share your story in the comments or find us on Facebook.

Meet Hoot Gibson

 

We are here to help with our closing cost grants for everyday heroes. Contact us for more info!

Thinking About Remodeling?

 6 Guidelines to Consider When Thinking About Remodeling

remodeling

Whether your home is new or older, the likelihood that you will want to make changes to fit your lifestyle or personal taste will eventually creep into your mind. When thinking about remodeling, there are several things to consider. Most people start with, should I remodel or move? Will a remodel be cost effective? Should I do the work myself, or hire a contractor? All great questions to think about. Here are some guidelines to help when thinking about remodeling for the first time.

Planning Can Save Time and Money

Start gathering pictures of styles that appeal to you,  fixtures you like and color palettes that you favor. Be sure to match your tastes to your budget. This will help you stay on track and keep the momentum moving forward.

DYI or Contractor

If you are confident in your abilities as a handyman/woman, then certainly you can save a great deal of money tackling small remodeling projects on your own. However, large jobs like basements, kitchens and master baths, can be challenging if you are a first timer. Hiring a good contractor takes some diligence. Find one with good references. Check to make sure they are a member with NARI – National Association of the Remodeling Industry  http://www.nari.org/. Checking that they have a good standing with the BBB is also smart.

Visit Current Work

Pictures don’t always tell the whole truth. Ask the contractor’s you are considering if you can visit a current work site to see firsthand how they operate. You will gain valuable insight about how the contractor maintains cleanliness, organization and safety on the job.

Get It In Writing

The best laid plans are worthless without having a solid contract. A detailed contract will help everyone involved keep within budget and stay on time for completion. Be sure the contract includes the right address, start date, completion date, and a detail of what is and is not going to be done.

The Scout Law of “Being Prepared”

Know in advance that living in a construction zone comes with a variety of complexities. Living without major appliances, like those in your kitchen, can be a challenge at meal times.  You will minimize inconvenience by establishing  a make shift kitchen away from the construction zone. Include a refrigerator and microwave oven, so you can continue to make light meals at home.

Protect Your Precious Possessions

Remodeling will effect most every room in the house no matter how hard you or your contractor try to contain the mess that goes with construction. Put away pictures and artwork, store and pack away valuables before work starts. Cover items that can’t be removed; for example, chandeliers, pianos and electronics. This will save these items from the dust ball that is inherent with remodeling or even possible damage.

Beginning with these guidelines, when thinking about remodeling, will help you stay on budget and hopefully minimize the stress level.

Choosing The Right Real Estate Agent

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Finding the Right Real Estate Agent For You

Whether you are buying or selling, choosing the right real estate agent can be one of the most important decisions you make. More than likely, everyone you know has a friend or relative that is a Realtor. Be cautious about selecting the right person for the task. The right real estate agent for you and your needs is out there, and here are 3 tips to guide your search.

Explore and Investigate

Take a walk or drive through your neighborhood or the one that you are interested in moving into. Take note of the for sale signs in the area. Is there one company or agent that seems to dominate? Keep an eye on how fast sold signs go up on the homes for sale. Visit open houses, this is a great way to see how an agent performs in action.

Reviews and Ratings

Friendly referrals are great, but checking an agents reviews and ratings online may reveal insights that your friends or family may not actually know about. Some sights like zillow.com allow you to check the ratings and reviews of agents. Also collect flyers and business cards from open houses and search the agents name online. Often you will find reviews from your search.

Interview and Inquire

Once you narrow the field of possibilities down to a few prospects, ask for a meeting to interview the agents and their qualifications. Asking pertinent questions will help you determine if an agent will be focused on helping you buy and/or sell with your best interest in mind.  Check out this article onforb.es/1luVWlT  at Forbes.com for questions to ask while interviewing an agent/broker.

A small amount of detective work and a little research will help you make the best choice in choosing the right real estate agent. 

 

 

 

Celebrate Mom

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Mother’s Day is this weekend and many of us will be taking mom out to dinner for her special day. While this is a nice gesture, it is also one of the busiest days for most restaurants. This could add undue stress to what should be a completely relaxing day for mom. So, why not change it up a bit this year and celebrate mom by doing something different. Here are some unique ideas that your mom may enjoy doing instead.

Out of the Box Ideas to Celebrate Mom

If the weather permits, take your mom to a botanical garden or a nice park. Enjoy the ambiance and her company.

Treat Mom to the movies. Let it be her choice of  movie, you take care of the snacks and drinks. In the future, every time she sees that movie, she’ll think of you.

When is the last time you had a professional photo taken with mom? Take mom to get your pictures taken. She will cherish the time with you and  she will have a memento of the experience. The photos don’t have to be ordinary – consider fun photo studios where you dress up like you’re in the Wild West or similar photos. Schedule an appointment or find a friend who is a good photographer and set a date with them. This may take a bit of pre-planning but it will be worth it!

There are so many great specialty shops around now, take your mom shopping at a store that specializes in something like tea, spice shop, spa and bath products, or something else your mom likes. You don’t have to spend a great deal of money, just let her pick out an item or two.

If you have any nearby wineries, or wine bars, treat mom to a wine tour or wine tasting event. Extend the gift by treating her to a bottle from the winery, accessories or pretty wine glasses.

Does your mom like crafting? If so, she may love to make jewelry. Take her to a bead store. Pick out some really unique beads and sit and make jewelry together. It is a nice way to chat and she will have a piece of jewelry to wear that reminds her of the day.

10 Great Quotes About Teachers, Teaching and Learning

 

National Teacher Appreciation Day – May 6, 2014

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Being a teacher is a job that takes a great amount of patience and dedication. It isn’t a job that you simply clock in when the first bell rings and clock out when the last bell sounds off. Evenings, and often times weekends, are spent lesson planning, correcting papers and researching activities or projects for students. In celebration of National Teacher Day today, here are 10 great quotes about teachers, teaching and learning.

10 Great Quotes About Teachers, Teaching and Learning

1. It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.

Albert Einstein

2. Teach the children so that it will not be necessary to teach the adults.

President Abraham Lincoln

3. The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.

C. W. Lewis

4. Most of us end up with no more than five or six people who remember us. Teachers have thousands of people who remember them for the rest of their lives.

Andy Rooney

5. I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework.

Lily Tomlin

6. A professor is someone who talks in someone else’s sleep.

W. H. Auden

7. Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.

Benjamin Franklin

8. Teaching is not a lost art, but the regard for it is a lost tradition.

Jacques Barzun

9. Modern cynics and skeptics… see no harm in paying those to whom they entrust the minds of their children a smaller wage than is paid to those to whom they entrust the care of their plumbing.

 John F. Kennedy

10. Summer vacation is the time when parents realize that teachers are grossly underpaid.

Author Unknown

 

10 Fun Things To Do In The Month of May

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The Warm Weather of May

Snow, rain and wind, the variety of April weather is always exciting. But even more thrilling is the sunshine that brings May flowers. It is time to start thinking about the warm weather. It is just around the corner so get outdoors and enjoy. Here are 10 fun things to do in the month of May.

  •  Plant an herbal garden
  • Visit the Zoo (beat the summer rush)
  • Go to a baseball game
  • Fly a kite
  • Set up a birdbath and/or bird feeder
  • Decorate your home with fresh tulips & daffodils
  • Sit outside at a cafe
  • Have a picnic at the park
  • Go to the farmer’s market
  • Take an evening stroll

 

The Seasons For Home Buying

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The High-Season

Finding the home of your dreams at a price you can financially handle often is all about timing. The greatest concentration of home searches on the Web for buyers looking reaches a peak around mid spring. Statistically, most home sales are between the months of April-July. The season for home buying with the largest inventory is at this time. People, especially families, tend to relocate during the summer while their children are on break from school. Because of the large inventory on the market during the high-season, your chance of finding a home that checks most of the boxes on your list is greatest during these months.

The Low-Season

The period of the year when there is the least amount of inventory is during the cold winter months of fall and winter. The upside is during this low-season in the housing market, buyers have the advantage. Homes typically are listed at a lower price in order to gain buyer interest while the market is slow. A buyer has less to choose from, but often they can find a great deal on a home, if they choose to buy at this time in the market.

Choosing a Neighborhood to Fit Your Lifestyle

Location, Location, Location

This applies too more than where your business is situated. It is also relates to finding the perfect neighborhood to live in, and often where you will raise your family. Start with a bit of research. Falling in love with a home, and then discovering that the neighborhood is not what you expected, will likely end in disappointment. It is not like buying an appliance or electronics; you can return those if you realize they are not what you perceived them to be.

Things you will want to consider as you begin to investigate a new neighborhood of course would be safety, commute, community amenities and home style. Some other essentials you don’t want to sidestep are listed below.

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Sidewalks

This may sound silly, but sidewalks communicate a variety of things about a neighborhood. Sidewalks often lead to parks and other community amenities that are within a short walk. If you or your family is active, this will be important to you. Sidewalks also provide safety for walks to the mailbox, grocery store, local dining or just a neighbor’s house. If you are a pet owner or have children, sidewalks are enormously desirable to keep everyone safe.

HOA’s, Taxes and Other Expenses

Some neighborhoods have additional expenses that others may not. It is necessary to consider these additional costs when deciding where to relocate. Private HOA’s can be a bit pricey in planned communities, condos or country club developments. Often there can be more than one HOA, so do a little investigating. You don’t want to receive any surprises after you sign on the dotted line. Rules are a part of HOA’s. Be sure to read through what is allowed and what needs approval.

Another noteworthy cost that needs to be understood is how the property taxes are handled. They may in fact be escrowed into your monthly mortgage payments. If and when your property value increases, so will your taxes. This will be reflected in an increase to your monthly payment, so be sure your budget can handle the higher rate.

Be aware if you get a fabulous deal on a foreclosed property and you take it because it is within your current budget. Property valuation will increase along with the property taxes. It is something to consider when looking at foreclosures.

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Community Activities and Amenities

Neighborhood amenities, most often, are a significant attribute when looking at homes and communities. This is true for families, retired couples or single bachelor living. Fit your neighborhood to your lifestyle and hobbies. For some, like young families, nearby parks or community swimming pools may be of interest. Dog owners may find having a nearby dog park particularly attractive, while senior citizens may enjoy having local social activity centers in their community. Single dwellers may like a variety of convenient restaurants or active nightlife hotspots. Walk or drive around the community to get a feel of what it has to offer.

RCHS

School Ratings and Property Values

While this concern may only seem to be an issue a family needs to reflect on, this is not exactly true. From preschool through high school, public or private, ratings matter. School ratings affect home values. Schools that are assessed as being strong educational institutions with low drop out rates, high college acceptance scores and other factoring criteria raise property values. For parents this is deemed extremely important to give their children the edge they will need to reach their full potential. For people without children, it needs to be considered for resale value when it is time to sell. It is also something to examine if you are single and/or renting. Rent values will be pricier in neighborhoods with high rated schools. As a parent, be sure to do a bit of first hand investigation to fully grasp the strength of a school district. Do not simply rely on what you find on the Web. Attend a PTA or PTO meeting. It is also beneficial to visit schools, schedule a tour and talk to parents. This investigation will give a clearer picture of what to expect.

Bottom line–housing the ideal neighborhood for you or you and your family takes some groundwork. Be patient and find the best fit, it will prove to be advantageous on all accounts.