21 Nov 2017

From grills to fire pits, 6 ways to keep it all safe and fun

The fall season in the Carolinas brings cooler temperatures, and time to get back outdoors for tailgating, home cookouts, marshmallow roasts or simply mellowing out by an outdoor fire. Robin Price, President, Allen Tate Insurance, reminded me that while having fun, we should be careful. In the U.S., 7,000 Americans are injured every year while using a grill (ABC news). And since, according to the American Society of Landscape Architects, fire pits, or outdoor fireplaces, are the No. 1 requested design feature today, a quick review of safety precautions would probably be a good thing. So we chatted last week, before I could run outside eagerly with my fire starter lighter. “First,” Robin says, “Read the safety instructions that came with...
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16 Nov 2017

Understanding mortgage terms

You know when you meet up with friends and some members of the group are really close and basically have their own separate language? You feel left out, right? Don’t let that same uncomfortable feeling creep in when you go to buy a home. Know the ins and outs of the mortgage lingo with our help. ARM An adjustable rate mortgage has interest rates that fluctuate based on market conditions. The good news with an ARM is that the initial fixed interest rate is typically lower than a comparable fixed-rate mortgage. The less than favorable news here is the fact that the fixed interest rate does expire after a certain amount of time and is then affected by the market— keep in...
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14 Nov 2017

Kitchen cleaning hacks

As a self-proclaimed neat freak, I can appreciate a good cleaning tip or two. And with the holidays right around the corner, I’m kicking up my cleaning game. Looking for ways to deep clean your kitchen before you invite the masses over for a Thanksgiving feast? You can be sure to impress even your most OCD family member with these tips. Vent hood Go ahead find the vent hood in your kitchen. Chances are you’ve never even seen this thing, let alone attempted to clean it. This one’s easy: Just grab some borax and treat the vent hood to a nice relaxing soak in hot water. It’ll be as good as clean in an hour or so. Oven Nobody wants to pull...
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