Melissa

Melissa

Stories by Melissa

How to Dispose of an Old Computer and Thwart Identity Thieves

Sep 19, 2014

Banging a hammer against your hard drive: It’s not just a satisfying way take out your extra aggression on a helpless piece of old technology. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) also says it’s one way to help protect sensitive data that may still be held within an old personal computer you want to discard. The […]

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Pros and Cons of Homeowners Associations: What to Know About HOAs Before You Buy

Sep 12, 2014

If you’re shopping for a new house, you’re likely to come across at least a few properties that are part of a homeowners association, or HOA. Some 26 million homes across the country are governed by them, according to the trade group Community Associations Institute (CAI). Of course, amenities like swimming pools or club houses […]

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Do Hybrid Cars Really Make Us Greener?

Sep 11, 2014

Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) have been a common sight on American roads since 2001 when Toyota introduced the first-generation of its Prius to the United States market. Since then, HEVs, along with electric vehicles, have contributed to a reduction in the percentage of overall fossil fuel consumption, from 86.3 in 2001 to 83.6 in 2012. […]

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Before You Buy the House: Check Out the Home’s Windows and Doors

Sep 03, 2014

As a potential home buyer, there’s a lot to consider when you’re looking at different properties. Did you know that a home’s windows and doors can give you a glimpse into potential structural problems? Here’s how: Looking to buy a home? Watch all the videos in our Smart Tips for Savvy House-Hunting series. Download a printable […]

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Before You Buy the House: Watch for Plumbing Issues

Sep 03, 2014

That first visit to a home you’re thinking about buying gives you a great opportunity to get a feel for the home, and there are many factors to consider. One thing to look at is the home’s plumbing. Watch the video below for some tips for your next showing: Before you buy your first home, […]

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Before You Buy the House: Examine the Furnace

Sep 03, 2014

There’s nothing quite like walking into your toasty-warm home on a cold winter’s night. When looking at a home you might purchase, one thing you may want to do is take a quick look at the furnace. Watch out for red flags that may indicate you’ll need to buy a new furnace before that winter chill […]

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Before You Buy the House: Look at the Water Heater

Sep 03, 2014

A water heater may not be at the top of the list of things you’re looking for in a house, but it’s important to at least give it a look when you visit the house with your real estate agent. Here are some things to look for: Before you look at that next home, watch […]

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Before You Buy the House: Know About Sump and Sewer Ejector Pumps

Sep 03, 2014

If you’ve never owned a home before, you may not be familiar with the sump pump or the sewer ejector pump. Some homes have a sump pump in order to help push rain water and ground water away from the exterior of the home’s foundation. Sewer ejector pumps, on the other hand, are installed in […]

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Before You Buy the House: Look at the Electrical Panel

Sep 03, 2014

When you’re looking at a home you’re thinking about buying, you have a lot to consider: The home’s location, its size and layout, and its price are all important factors. Most of these things are easy to notice when you’re looking at a home with your real estate agent, but others may take a little […]

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Before You Buy the House: Examine the Air Conditioning Unit

Sep 03, 2014

An air conditioner may not be at the top of your priority list if you’re house-hunting in the cooler months, but by the time summer rolls around again, it may become very important. So, as a potential home buyer, it makes sense to check out the air conditioning unit of a home you’re considering. Here […]

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