Windows http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4167/all en-US House Hunting? These Features Will Save You Big Over the Long Haul http://www.wisebread.com/house-hunting-these-features-will-save-you-big-over-the-long-haul <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/house-hunting-these-features-will-save-you-big-over-the-long-haul" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_young_family.jpg" alt="Happy young family" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Shopping for a house is stressful. You're trying to find the best home, in the best area, for the best price. Making your budget match your wish list is overwhelming, but take heart. It's not about finding the perfect house; it's about finding a house you can make into a safe, comfortable home that isn't going to cost you loads to repair and maintain. Here are the features to look for that can save you costly headaches and give you the most value while you live there.</p> <h2>Energy-efficient features</h2> <p>An energy-efficient home is not only better for the environment, it's better for your budget. Certain energy-efficient features will save you a lot more in the long run than others.</p> <h3>Insulated ductwork</h3> <p>Ductwork often leaks out so much heating or air conditioning that it adds significantly to your utility bill. Experts say that by insulating the ducts, you can cut the cost of running the HVAC system by up to 30 percent.</p> <h3>Modern HVAC systems</h3> <p>Speaking of HVAC systems, if you purchase a home with a modern unit, it's a value-added feature. Older HVAC units (20 years or older for heating units, 10 years or older for air conditioning units) are inefficient. Newer models, even if they're not top-of-the-line, can give you a utility bill that's 10 percent to 20 percent lower.</p> <h3>Efficient windows</h3> <p>Look for newer, double-paned windows or exterior storm windows installed over the original interior windows. Windows can be quite pricey to replace, so it's best if you can find a house with efficient ones already installed. About 30 percent of your home's air conditioning and heating can disappear out of your windows. Purchasing a house with newer windows already installed can reduce your energy bill by 12 percent to 33 percent, according to the U.S. Energy Department.</p> <h3>Window treatments</h3> <p>Window treatments won't prevent air leakage, but they can reduce heat gain in the summer and heat loss in the winter. Look for exterior awnings, particularly on the south- and west-facing windows, where they can reduce solar heat gain by 65 percent to 77 percent, according to the Energy Department.</p> <p>Interior, well-fitted blinds or drapes can also help with energy costs, reducing heat gain in summer and heat loss in winter. However, it's not very expensive to install these yourself, so don't make this item a deal-breaker.</p> <h2>Design features</h2> <p>The way a house is designed and built can determine how well it ages and how costly any future repair work might be. Keep your eye on these features for the best long-term value.</p> <h3>Accessible plumbing</h3> <p>Look for plumbing that's reachable through a crawl space, basement, and outdoor access points. The more work you have to do to access mainlines, the more costly any plumbing repairs will be in the future. Inaccessible plumbing can also mean that leaks or clogs are difficult to find, which can prolong plumbing problems and add to the total cost of repair.</p> <h3>Updated wiring</h3> <p>In houses that are more than 40 years old, wiring can be outdated and dangerous. Replacing it is an expensive, involved project. In older homes, find out when the electrical system was last inspected. Find out if there is any aluminum wiring (which can become a fire hazard as connections age and deteriorate), and if there is adequate amperage in the house. Many older homes used a 60 amp standard, but most modern households need around 200 amps to keep everything running.</p> <h3>Structural soundness</h3> <p>From floor joists to support beams, structural features cost a lot to repair. Some structural problems can be covered up by unscrupulous sellers.</p> <p>In this case, it's not about the features you want, but the telltale signs you don't want:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Squeaking, uneven floors.</p> </li> <li> <p>Ill-fitted doors and windows that are difficult to open and close.</p> </li> <li> <p>Large cracks in the home's exterior, particularly if they don't follow the mortar and/or if they are larger at the top and taper down.</p> </li> <li> <p>Cracks in the interior walls above doorways.</p> </li> <li> <p>Warped or sagging ceilings.</p> </li> <li> <p>Exposed gaps between walls.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>Outdoor features</h2> <p>Just as important as the house itself is the area around the house. The yard, greenery, and hardscaping, such as sidewalks and walls, affect the value of the house and the cost of ongoing maintenance.</p> <h3>Shade trees</h3> <p>Trees will help reduce energy costs by providing shade from the hot summer sun and acting as a windbreak in cold winter months.</p> <p>There's a caveat here: You want strong, tall trees that will provide shade, but you don't want them too close to your house. Shade is good; a heavy tree branch falling on your roof during a storm is not good. Look for healthy, well-established trees. Bonus points if they're planted on the south or west side of the house.</p> <h3>Smart landscaping</h3> <p>Look for landscaping that works with the natural contours of the yard and the climate. A lush flower garden may look great, but if you have to water it daily to keep it alive in your arid, hot climate, it's not a smart choice.</p> <p>Landscaping should direct water flow away from the house as well. Drainage issues in the yard or hardscaping around the house can be very costly to fix, but failing to fix them can lead to even more costly water damage inside the house. If you're getting serious about the house, drive by or arrange a visit with your realtor after a heavy rain.</p> <h2>Lifestyle features</h2> <p>To get the most value in a house, you must know thyself. If you're an avid cook, a large, well-equipped kitchen may be worth a higher price. But if you hardly spend time in the kitchen, why spend money on a large one?</p> <p>Choose a home with the features that matter for the lifestyle you live now, not the magazine-promoted lifestyle you think you ought to live someday.</p> <p>Take inventory of how you spend most of your time in your current home. Is there an unused dining room, or a too-large bedroom just taking up space? Don't shop for a house by room count or square footage. Shop for a house that fits the way you live your life, and you'll end up with a house that brings you the most possible value.</p> <h2>What doesn't matter</h2> <p>Part of selling a house is making it look as good as possible. All too often potential buyers are wowed by the fresh paint, new carpet, and shiny new light fixtures, and miss the bigger issues. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-let-these-6-home-d-cor-flaws-ruin-your-house-hunt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Don't Let These 6 Home Décor Flaws Ruin Your House Hunt</a>)</p> <p>Here's a short list of things that are nice to have, but shouldn't impress you with their value:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Freshly painted walls, ceilings, or trim. Paint is cheap, and with a little time and work, you can put a fresh coat on anything you want. Unless there are issues with lead paint, don't let paint impress you much either way.</p> </li> </ul> <ul> <li> <p>New or custom fittings, light fixtures, and fans. Nice touches, but they won't make your house significantly more valuable. You can upgrade these yourself for reasonable prices.</p> </li> <li> <p>Decor elements. Whether it's trim work or cabinet refinishing, decor can be upgraded on your timeline and budget without a major effect on the house's value.</p> </li> <li> <p>Smart thermostats. A good upgrade, but one that's fairly inexpensive and easy to add yourself.</p> </li> </ul> <p>You don't have to find a house with all of these features. But knowing which ones will bring you value can help you adjust your expectations &mdash; and your purchase offer &mdash; accordingly.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhouse-hunting-these-features-will-save-you-big-over-the-long-haul&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHouse%2520Hunting-%2520These%2520Features%2520Will%2520Save%2520You%2520Big%2520Over%2520the%2520Long%2520Haul.jpg&amp;description=House%20Hunting%3F%20These%20Features%20Will%20Save%20You%20Big%20Over%20the%20Long%20Haul"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/House%20Hunting-%20These%20Features%20Will%20Save%20You%20Big%20Over%20the%20Long%20Haul.jpg" alt="House Hunting? These Features Will Save You Big Over the Long Haul" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/house-hunting-these-features-will-save-you-big-over-the-long-haul">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-homeowners-associations">What You Need to Know About Homeowners&#039; Associations</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-things-youll-hate-about-your-next-house">14 Things You&#039;ll Hate About Your Next House</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-buy-a-house-without-a-mortgage">4 Ways to Buy a House Without a Mortgage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-added-costs-that-come-with-a-bigger-house">7 Added Costs That Come With a Bigger House</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-are-the-7-features-home-buyers-want-most">These Are the 7 Features Home Buyers Want Most</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing decor energy efficiency expenses features homeownership house hunting hvac landscaping new house value Windows Tue, 01 Aug 2017 08:30:12 +0000 Annie Mueller 1990800 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Ways a Home Energy Audit Will Save You Money http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-a-home-energy-audit-will-save-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-ways-a-home-energy-audit-will-save-you-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/home_energy_audit_47402620.jpg" alt="Learning how a home energy audit will save you money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Feel like your home's utility bills are too high? You're not alone. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that the average monthly electrical bill for U.S. homes stood at just over $114 a month in 2014. And the U.S. Energy Information Administration suggests that U.S. homes relying on natural gas would spend an average of $578 during the winter for heat.</p> <p>If your monthly electric and gas bills are too high, it might be time to <a href="http://www.resnet.us/directory/search">call in an energy auditor</a> to perform a home energy audit. During an audit, an inspector will tour your home and run tests to determine where your home is losing energy, and money &mdash; potentially helping you shave 15% or more off your utility bills.</p> <p>Here are four ways in which a home energy audit can save you money.</p> <h2>Inspire You to Install More Efficient Windows</h2> <p>An energy auditor will take a close look at your home's windows. It's more costly to cool and heat your home when leaky windows are letting that hot and cold air escape. Your furnace and air conditioning units have to work harder, consuming more energy, and therefore money.</p> <p>According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ENERGY STAR program, homeowners can save $126 to $465 a year in energy costs when replacing drafty single-pane windows with ENERGY STAR-qualified replacements. That figure is less impressive when homeowners replace inefficient double-pane windows, but you can still save from $27 to $111 a year with more efficient versions, according to ENERGY STAR.</p> <h2>Identify Other Leaks in Your Home's Envelope</h2> <p>Hot and cool air can escape through plenty of cracks in your home's seal. That's why energy auditors will test your home with a blower door. According to RESNET, this is a powerful fan that an auditor will mount in the frame of an exterior door. The fan will then pull air out of your home, lowering the air pressure inside your residence.</p> <p>The higher outside air pressure will then flow into your home through all of its unsealed cracks and openings. Your auditor will then use diagnostic tools to determine how much air is leaking from your home and from where it is escaping. Sealing these leaky areas will reduce your monthly energy bills.</p> <h2>Help You Determine if You Need More Insulation</h2> <p>A home energy audit will also help you decide if your home's walls lack proper insulation.</p> <p>The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that U.S. homeowners can save an average of 15% on their home's heating and cooling costs, or an average of 11% on their home's total energy costs, by air-sealing their homes and adding insulation to their attics and walls.</p> <p>During an inspection, an energy auditor will use thermal cameras to determine hot and cold spots in a home's walls and flooring. This will help the auditor determine where your home is lacking proper insulation. Installing new energy-efficient insulation can then have a significant impact on your home's monthly utility bills.</p> <h2>Inspire You to Replace That Washing Machine From 1995</h2> <p>You might be thrilled that your home's washing machine is 20 years old and still chugging along, or that you haven't had to replace your refrigerator in 15 years. But those reliable, old appliances might be costing you too much money each month.</p> <p>The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that home appliances account for about 13% of your home's total energy costs. Replacing older, inefficient models can save you money each month.</p> <p>The Department of Energy says that ENERGY STAR-qualified washing machines and refrigerators are about 20% more energy efficient than are standard models. ENERGY STAR-qualified dishwashers only use about 5.8 gallons of water each cycle or less, according to the Department of Energy, while dishwashers purchased before 1994 use an average of more than 10 gallons for each cycle.</p> <p>Newer, more energy-efficient models of these appliances will cost more. But those savings will add up each month. Do some quick math to determine how long it will take before your average energy savings outweigh the extra cost of buying an energy-efficient refrigerator, dishwasher, or washer and dryer.</p> <p><em>Have you ever had an energy audit done on your home? What did it tell you about your home's energy use?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-a-home-energy-audit-will-save-you-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-sneaky-home-money-pits-that-sap-your-savings">9 Sneaky Home Money Pits That Sap Your Savings</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/house-hunting-these-features-will-save-you-big-over-the-long-haul">House Hunting? These Features Will Save You Big Over the Long Haul</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-simple-ways-to-make-your-refrigerator-more-efficient">8 Simple Ways to Make Your Refrigerator More Efficient</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-these-10-green-appliances-actually-save-you-money">Do These 10 Green Appliances Actually Save You Money?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-money-will-you-save-with-energy-star-appliances">How Much Money Will You Save With Energy Star Appliances?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Real Estate and Housing appliances energy audit energy efficiency energy star inspection insulation leaks wasting money Windows Tue, 30 Aug 2016 09:30:29 +0000 Dan Rafter 1780053 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Sneaky Home Money Pits That Sap Your Savings http://www.wisebread.com/9-sneaky-home-money-pits-that-sap-your-savings <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-sneaky-home-money-pits-that-sap-your-savings" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/money_cash_grass_13020597.jpg" alt="Finding hidden home money pits you don&#039;t notice" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are so many expenses associated with paying the bills for a home that it is easy to miss money leaks that are costing you big dollars. Putting a plug into these leaks can make a big difference in your budget. From old-school thermostats to faulty plumbing, here are some of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pets-old-cars-and-3-other-common-money-pits" target="_blank">top money-pits</a> to watch for:</p> <h2>1. Old School Thermostats</h2> <p>I recently replaced my 1980s era thermostat with a new one for about $50. Why? Because the old thermostat was leaking money every day. My new thermostat is programmable, so I can automatically avoid heating or cooling the house when no one is home. It's paid for itself in just the first few months.</p> <h2>2. Drafty Windows</h2> <p>It may sound extreme to replace windows to save money on your heating bill, but I was paying hundreds of dollars every month for propane when I moved into an old house with drafty single pane windows. Old windows are almost as inefficient as having your windows open all winter. Replacing them will reduce your utility bill and add to the resale value of your house. If replacing windows is too big of a project, you can install clear plastic film over your windows for a few dollars each to help keep the money from flowing out.</p> <h2>3. Old HVAC Systems</h2> <p>I once lived in a house with a 40-year-old furnace. My home inspector said it was built like a tank, and I think it was about as energy efficient as a tank, too. If you plan to stay in your house for a few years, an energy efficient HVAC system can easily pay for itself through lower energy bills. Plus, the new system will increase the value of your house.</p> <h2>4. Poor Insulation</h2> <p>Don't be fooled: It can be hard to notice a poorly insulated home because the furnace can compensate for this by running more to try to maintain the desired temperature. The most effective place to upgrade your home's insulation is in the attic, since warm air is less dense than cold air and a lot of heat transfer happens through the attic and roof as warm air rises. If your floors are cold, you may benefit from adding insulation under your house, as well. Insulating walls can be a bigger project, but insulation can be often blown into the joint space in walls in a matter of just hours.</p> <h2>5. Old Appliances</h2> <p>Old appliances are energy hogs compared with newer, more efficient models &mdash; especially refrigerators, freezers, and dishwashers. It may be hard to notice that old appliance sitting there quietly sucking down extra electricity all the time, but the cost adds up every month. Some utility companies offer incentives to take away old appliances in order to encourage people to replace them with energy efficient models. And you may even qualify for <a href="https://www.energystar.gov/about/federal_tax_credits">tax credits</a> related to energy efficient appliances.</p> <h2>6. Bad Mortgage Rates</h2> <p>When you got your mortgage, you probably shopped around and got the best rate you could find. But have you checked your rate lately? You may be paying more than you need to for interest every month. If you plan to stay in your house for a few years, refinancing your mortgage to get a better interest rate can help you hang on to more of your money each month instead of giving it to the banker.</p> <h2>7. Leaky Roof or Gutters</h2> <p>You won't get a bill right away if you have a leaky roof or gutters that don't work properly, but deferred maintenance is like a time bomb that can cost you a huge amount of money in the future in the form of repair bills and reduced property value. Take care of water leaks before they become a money pit.</p> <h2>8. Long Commutes</h2> <p>If your home is far away from work, shopping, and school, your commute is costing you time and money every day. Unfortunately, avoiding this money pit may require moving to a different house. I was able to move about 10 minutes closer to my work location, and it made a big difference.</p> <h2>9. Too Much House</h2> <p>If your house is bigger than you really need, you are paying extra every month for your mortgage, utility bills, and property taxes. Consider downsizing to avoid sinking money into paying for space you are not fully utilizing.</p> <p><em>Which of these home money pits are costing you money?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-sneaky-home-money-pits-that-sap-your-savings">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-a-home-energy-audit-will-save-you-money">4 Ways a Home Energy Audit Will Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-are-the-7-features-home-buyers-want-most">These Are the 7 Features Home Buyers Want Most</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-worst-reasons-to-buy-a-house">4 Worst Reasons to Buy a House</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-ways-real-estate-cuts-your-taxes">10 Surprising Ways Real Estate Cuts Your Taxes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-green-living-habits-thatll-save-you-every-month">12 Green Living Habits That&#039;ll Save You Every Month</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Real Estate and Housing appliances commuting energy efficient money pits money sucks mortgages thermostats wasting money Windows Mon, 01 Aug 2016 10:00:14 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1757850 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Hidden Housing Costs New Homeowners Don't Expect http://www.wisebread.com/10-hidden-housing-costs-new-homeowners-dont-expect <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-hidden-housing-costs-new-homeowners-dont-expect" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_tired_painting_000067183647.jpg" alt="Man finding hidden housing costs he didn&#039;t expect" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You're a new homeowner &mdash; congrats! The hardest part is over, for sure. Saying so long to most of your savings isn't easy, after all. But the money hemorrhage isn't finished just yet. There are several under-the-radar and often overlooked fees and expenses that accompany homeownership that a newbie like you might miss. Keep tabs on these expenses with this list of hidden housing costs to help soften the blow.</p> <h2>1. Moving Expenses</h2> <p>Your belongings have to get from A to B somehow, but have you considered the method? If you plan to enlist the help of your friends, you'll save a huge chunk of change, but if you have more than a few truckloads, it's probably best to hire movers &mdash; and movers aren't cheap. Depending on how much stuff you have, how many flights of stairs the movers are going up and down (my fourth-floor movers <em>haaaated </em>me), and the distance they need to travel to deliver it, the cost could reach upwards of $10,000. With so many other expenses coming down the pipeline, this isn't one you want to forget about. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-forget-to-budget-for-these-unexpected-moving-expenses?ref=seealso">Don't Forget to Budget for These Unexpected Moving Expenses</a>)</p> <h2>2. Furnishing <em>All </em>the Rooms</h2> <p>Your eyes opened wide to the four-bed, three-bath colonial when you first saw it &mdash; all that space! But those rooms aren't going to furnish themselves. This is important to keep in mind if you're coming from a much smaller dwelling. You likely don't have enough furniture to outfit the entire new home, which means that you'll have to buy new items to make it livable. Beds, dining tables, couches, sofas &mdash; any or all of these may be required, and none of it is cheap. Otherwise you can take the easy way out and assign two of your empty, furniture-less rooms to &quot;storage,&quot; like I've seen some of my friends do. You'll just have to accept that somebody (like me) is totally judging you, lazy.</p> <h2>3. Window Treatments</h2> <p>When I moved into my first apartment in Manhattan, I assumed that the place would come with blinds. No such luck. What was worse was that my landlord wouldn't supply the blinds&hellip; and the ones I had to order if I didn't want nosy neighbors watching me do <em>everything</em> had to be custom made. The cost was an extra $500 or so that I didn't plan for, which is annoying when it's for something as silly as window treatments. Although, according to interior designer Tiffani Stutzman, I got off pretty easy.</p> <p>&quot;New homeowners are always shocked at the price of window treatments,&quot; she says. &quot;The average cost of a very basic blind or shade for a medium-sized window is normally around $500. Most homeowners should budget around $1,000 per window as a good rule of thumb. However, the cost can increase significantly for very large or tall windows or windows with non-standard shapes like arches. If you are interested in using custom fabrics or other features such as motorized shades, expect much higher costs per window.&quot;</p> <p>Yeah, I definitely got off easy, and I made half my money back by selling the window treatments to the renter who was coming in after me. Business is business. For your own reference, I used Blinds To Go, which was extremely affordable compared to Stutzman's estimates, and the process was a cinch.</p> <h2>4. Utilities and Other Day-to-Day Usage Expenses</h2> <p>If you previously lived in an apartment where your utilities were included in the rent, you're in for big sticker shock your first few months of energy usage. Gas and electricity isn't cheap, and if you've been taking advantage of the built-in amenities that your rent covered, you better brace yourself. To make the transition smoother, ask the seller if you can see a copy of a recent utility bill so that you can somewhat prepare. Knowing is half the battle. Tread lightly initially, too. Stay conscious of lights, heat, and A/C running only when necessary to help slow down the speed at which you're accruing new bills.</p> <h2>5. HVAC Inspections and Upkeep</h2> <p>Heaters and air conditioners are crucial to climate-controlled living (I'm so uppity I won't even spend the night someplace without an air conditioner; I get <em>hot</em>, bro), and they don't fix themselves. Unless you have these very specialized skills to handle their maintenance, you'll have to hire the work out. Of course, it's wise to ward off major catastrophes with annual inspections &mdash; which will still cost you &mdash; but not nearly as much as early replacement of a furnace or A/C unit that's been neglected.</p> <h2>6. Termite and Pest Treatments</h2> <p>Before you move into your new home, you should get the all clear that it's termite-free. Your inspection will reveal the pests, and it should fall on the owner to address the problem. If not, you have the right to walk away. That's not always the case, however. The owner is not <em>required</em> to rid the house of pests, but only to disclose the existence of the pests. If you choose to move forward with the sale knowing that there's an active pest problem, the problem is on you if it's not negotiated that it will be exterminated by the time you move in.</p> <p>And if you don't mind me saying so, it's an incredibly dumb move on your part to accept the pests, as they can be very costly to eliminate. You also want to check for roaches, ants, mice and rats, and bedbugs. None of these critters are signs of good fortune.</p> <h2>7. Landscaping and Other Outdoor Maintenance</h2> <p>I do a lot of things myself to cut costs on having to pay for someone else to do it, but I draw the line at mowing the lawn and other yard maintenance. I hate it. Thus, I bring in the big guns to do the dirty work, and it costs about $800 a year. Other hidden costs to new homeowners can include, but aren't limited to: snow removal, roof maintenance (which can be a <em>huge </em>expenses if there's a serious problem), gutter cleaning, and outdoor pest removal, like the hornet's nest that set up camp in my own backyard.</p> <p>&quot;Lawn mowing services can run roughly $25 a week or more, but that's just for cutting the grass; that doesn't include tree trimming, fertilization, and other landscaping services,&quot; says Ryan Farley, co-founder LawnStarter, a lawn-care concierge service. &quot;If you go the DIY route, lawn care involves an expenditure of both time and money; it's hard to put a price on your time. If you prefer to let someone else take care of your lawn, be sure to include that cost in your monthly housing budget. Whatever you decide to do, keep in mind that a well-landscaped lawn can easily boost the value of your home by 10%, and a lousy looking lawn can cause you to lose money when you're ready to sell.</p> <h2>8. An Eventual Increase in Property Taxes</h2> <p>There are only two certainties in life &mdash; death and taxes, and the latter will keep increasing until you wish the former would come faster. While you should be aware of your expected property taxes before you purchase the home, you may not expect the rate at which they will increase over the years.</p> <p>&ldquo;When you buy a home, most sales are reported to the taxing authority, which means your property taxes will be raised to the value &mdash; or the price you paid &mdash; for the house. For many buyers this can be a 20% to 30% increase in their property taxes,&quot; says Sissy Lapin, co-founder of ListingDoor.com, a DIY home-selling resource.</p> <h2>9. Homeowner's Association Dues</h2> <p>If you're moving to a fancy neighborhood, you can bet there's a homeowner's association, which, in my opinion, is just a congenial title for &quot;a sanctioned group of nosy neighbors who like to tell other people what to do&quot; &mdash; but I digress. Either way, you'll have to pay up to be part of the club, whether you like it or not. But, hey, at least you get an awkward holiday party out of it at the end of the year.</p> <p>&quot;While these fees are likely disclosed during the purchase, and may bring many benefits, they are an additional cost to owning a home in many parts of the country,&quot; Lapin says. &quot;Furthermore, there can also be periodic 'one-time' additional assessments to cover special projects or budget deficits by the association.&quot;</p> <h2>10. Special Assessments to Cover Special Projects</h2> <p>Special assessment fees generally don't apply to single-family homeownership, but they can be a surprise aspect of condo living if you're not prepared. Recently, we had to replace the roof on our building in Manhattan to the tune of more than $1 million. Uh huh. I needed a minute when I heard that, too. With only 12 units in the building, the cost was divvied up between the owners based on the shares we held in the building. Needless to say, it wasn't cheap for anyone, and special assessments like these can force you out of your home if you're not financially capable of paying your share.</p> <p>Furthermore, if you're forced to move because you can no longer afford the mortgage plus fees, it can be difficult finding a buyer given the financially-strapped circumstance of the unit and the building. There's no real way to prepare for things like this &mdash; it's more of a roll-with-the-punches situation &mdash; but it's certainly something to consider before buying a condo.</p> <p><em>Are you a new homeowner? What are some of the pop-up fees you weren't prepared for? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-hidden-housing-costs-new-homeowners-dont-expect">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-unexpected-costs-of-living-in-a-tiny-house">5 Unexpected Costs of Living in a Tiny House</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-hidden-costs-of-buying-an-old-house">23 Hidden Costs of Buying an Old House</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-added-costs-that-come-with-a-bigger-house">7 Added Costs That Come With a Bigger House</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/house-hunting-these-features-will-save-you-big-over-the-long-haul">House Hunting? These Features Will Save You Big Over the Long Haul</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-much-life-in-the-big-city-will-cost-you">Here&#039;s How Much Life in the Big City Will Cost You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing expenses furniture hidden costs moving new homeowners utilities Windows Mon, 18 Apr 2016 09:00:05 +0000 Mikey Rox 1689028 at http://www.wisebread.com Don't Let These 6 Home Décor Flaws Ruin Your House Hunt http://www.wisebread.com/dont-let-these-6-home-d-cor-flaws-ruin-your-house-hunt <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dont-let-these-6-home-d-cor-flaws-ruin-your-house-hunt" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_moving_in_000076924219.jpg" alt="Couple not letting home decor flaws ruin their house hunt" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Looking to buy a house? The search can feel incredibly daunting, especially when you start digging for all the imperfections before offering. Unless you're buying or building a brand new place, you'll probably need to contend with a few turn-offs. Here's what to ignore, how to fix common cosmetic issues, and when you might be able to negotiate. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/be-a-smarter-home-buyer-by-avoiding-these-12-house-hunter-cliches?ref=seealso">Avoid These HGTV House Hunter Mistakes</a>)</p> <h2>1. Paint Color</h2> <p>You've probably seen it on those house hunting shows. A young couple walks into an outdated house, and the first thing they say is: &quot;Oh, I cannot deal with this paint color!&quot; The same goes with wallpaper. These home features really aren't features at all. They're as easy to change as your lipstick or tie.</p> <p>Though it can be hard, try looking beyond the personal design choices of the current homeowners when it comes to paint colors (curtains, furnishings, etc.) and view the home as a clean slate. The good news? You can buy a can of paint at your local hardware store for around $30 and spend a few hours on a weekend customizing the look to suit your tastes.</p> <h2>2. Flooring</h2> <p>My first home had a puke-green carpet from the 1960s all throughout the main level. It even stretched into the kitchen. The second floor, on the other hand, had gorgeous oak hardwoods. So, before we offered, I made sure to ask the agent if those same hardwoods might be underneath the carpet. Her answer? Yup! Not only that, but these hardwoods had been protected for much of the life of the property under that ugly rug.</p> <p>Flooring choices can sometimes be as easy to change as paint color &mdash; with a little more elbow grease. Of course, you'll want to investigate any issues like creaking or potential stains. Otherwise, find a good DIY video and get going. You typically start in a corner of the room and go from there. After you've rolled up the carpet and padding, remove the strip around the perimeter of the room and any staples that might still be in the floor.</p> <h2>3. Outdated Look</h2> <p>Sometimes you walk into a property and it just feels, well, dated. Usually it has something to do with the light fixtures or maybe the faucets and other hardware in the home. Try to take a count of the things you don't like and head to your local home improvement store to price out replacements. Then make your plan of attack according to your budget.</p> <p>In my current home, all the ceiling fans (and there were many!) were brassy and loose. Over the course of a year, we went room by room and changed out the fixtures to our liking. In the bedrooms, we did plain white ceiling fans. In others, like the dining room, we chose a nice hanging light to add interest. Once you get the hang of the basic electricity involved, it's quite easy to do yourself &mdash; and it makes a huge difference in the look and feel of the home as a whole.</p> <h2>4. Kitchen Cabinets</h2> <p>If you're anything like me, the kitchen is the first room you want to see when touring a home. Some kitchens can be downright frightening, especially if they are full of old, dark cabinets. Before you cross that listing off, examine those cabinets carefully. If they are in good condition, you might consider giving them an inexpensive facelift that could dramatically improve the home.</p> <p>When we moved into our current digs, the kitchen was a dark den of sorts. But it contained many cabinets in good condition. Instead of gutting and replacing everything for looks (which didn't fit into the budget), I spent just $100 on paint supplies to give the cabinets a clean coat of white. The result brightened up the space considerably and only took me a weekend to complete.</p> <h2>5. Roofing Issues</h2> <p>Does the roof look like it's seen better days? You should know the age from your listing sheet. Even if you don't find out the roof is in bad repair until your inspection, this issue is one that might give you some room for negotiation. Or not. It's definitely an area you don't want to totally ignore when signing on the line. A new roof, according to Angie's List, can set you back anywhere <a href="https://www.angieslist.com/articles/what-average-cost-replace-roof.htm">between $5,000 and $25,000</a>.</p> <p>Though the age of a roof itself might not give you much power, if it shows obvious signs of neglect &mdash; press the issue. You might be able to get all or part of the replacement paid for by your seller or a lower purchase price overall. And make sure you get good clarification from your inspector on if the roof needs total replacement or a simple repair. Replacing a few damaged shingles may cost as little as a hundred dollars if you can find a good handyman.</p> <h2>6. Old Windows</h2> <p>It can be a bummer to fall in love with a house that has old windows. Of course, sometimes they're still functioning just fine. Other times, you might find cracked panes, ones that won't open or close, or worse. According to Angie's List, <a href="https://www.angieslist.com/articles/how-much-does-it-cost-replace-windows.htm">vinyl replacement windows</a> cost between $450 and $600 each. Feeling overwhelmed when you multiply? Consider this: Wood windows should last a good 30 years. If the home's windows are still in their prime &mdash; repair of a few is much less costly than replacement of all.</p> <p>Definitely try to negotiate the repairs into your contract. Have your inspector go around and make an itemized list of the ones that aren't working well and then get a quote for a local shop for either replacements or repairs to present to your seller. If you have home improvement skills, you can also try fixing some of the common issues yourself. For example, if the window won't open, try to find the root cause. From there, tighten any loose screws, lubricate the hinges, and check the operator for any signs of disrepair.</p> <p><em>What home &quot;issues&quot; don't register as issues for you?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-let-these-6-home-d-cor-flaws-ruin-your-house-hunt">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/house-hunting-these-features-will-save-you-big-over-the-long-haul">House Hunting? These Features Will Save You Big Over the Long Haul</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-buy-a-house-without-a-mortgage">4 Ways to Buy a House Without a Mortgage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-need-to-know-about-a-home-appraisal">9 Things You Need to Know About a Home Appraisal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-stage-your-home-without-hiring-a-pro">8 Ways to Stage Your Home Without Hiring a Pro</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-should-know-before-buying-a-foreclosed-home">7 Things You Should Know Before Buying a Foreclosed Home</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing flooring house hunting kitchens new homeowner painting roof Windows Tue, 15 Mar 2016 10:00:07 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1672233 at http://www.wisebread.com Quick Vista Hack to Get You Browsing at High-Speed Again http://www.wisebread.com/quick-vista-hack-to-get-you-browsing-at-high-speed-again <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/quick-vista-hack-to-get-you-browsing-at-high-speed-again" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/speed racer.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">I’m not a Windows Vista fan.<span> </span>In fact, my new PC runs on XP, but uses OpenSource applications for most of my business needs.<span> </span>So why do I even care about a trick to get sluggish Vista browsing back to an acceptable speed?<span> </span>My mom uses Vista, and I love my mom. </p> <p class="MsoNormal">I’m also no techie, so I’ll preface this piece by acknowledging that this won’t work for everyone.<span> </span>There are lots of reasons why Vista is a good choice for some; my mom has few qualms with the operating system, and I’ve even adjusted to using her PC for quick tasks when I’m away from home.<span> </span>One thing that just wouldn’t do for me or my mother, however, was the horribly slow browsing in Vista.<span> </span>Sites that should have taken little time to load were met with the white screen of death, or a notoriously lingering blue circle that signaled the page was <em>still</em> loading.<span> </span>A check of the connection supported my theory that it wasn’t anything else but Vista.<span> </span>Here’s how we fixed it – for good. </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><a href="http://www.pcmagazine.com/">PC Magazine’s</a> May 2008 issue held the key to our problems.<span> </span>Its Ask Neil column featured our problem, and the answer was simple:<span> </span>Disable Vista’s “Auto-Tuning” feature, which may not be (in our case it wasn’t) compatible with certain routers and networking devices.<span> </span>To turn it off: </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span> </span>At the <strong>Start</strong> menu type <strong>command</strong>, but don’t immediately launch the command prompt.<span> </span>Instead, right-click it and choose <strong>Run As Administrator</strong>.<span> </span>Type this command: </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>netsh interface tcp show global</strong> </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span> </span>If the line <strong>Receive Window Auto-Tuning Level</strong> does not say “disabled,” enter this command: </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>netsh interface tcp set global autotuning=restricted</strong> </p> <p class="MsoNormal">If this doesn’t help, do the whole process again, but this time substitute this command: </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>netsh interface tcp set global autotuning=disabled</strong> </p> <p class="MsoNormal">Viola!<span> </span>You should be cruising now!<span> </span>(By the way, I had to go through the whole process, using the last command to get it going good.)<span> </span>If it works, you should notice the difference in browsing speeds immediately.<span> </span>If it doesn’t work for you, and you feel the need to put things back the way they were, you can type this command: </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>netsh interface tcp set global autotuning=normal</strong> </p> <p class="MsoNormal">Good luck, Vista users!<span> </span>(And if you’re looking for some additional reading, check out all the <a href="http://www.pcmag.com/category2/0,2806,2256470,00.asp">green topics</a> covered in <a href="http://www.pcmag.com/current_issue/">this month’s issue</a> of PC Magazine!)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/quick-vista-hack-to-get-you-browsing-at-high-speed-again">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/boost-your-computers-ram-in-seconds-very-easy">Boost your computer&#039;s RAM in seconds. Very easy.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/one-genius-little-button-thats-saving-me-a-whole-bunch-of-time">One genius little button that&#039;s saving me a whole bunch of time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/hacking-your-way-to-a-better-life">Hacking your way to a better life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-clean-up-your-image-on-social-media">7 Easy Ways to Clean Up Your Image on Social Media</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-ssn-can-now-be-accurately-guessed-using-date-and-place-of-birth">Your SSN Can Now Be Accurately Guessed Using Date and Place of Birth</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Technology hack Internet PC Vista Windows Thu, 17 Apr 2008 02:00:58 +0000 Linsey Knerl 2014 at http://www.wisebread.com Microsoft Office for $3? Third World Perks http://www.wisebread.com/microsoft-office-for-3-third-world-perks <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/microsoftware.jpg" alt=" " width="208" height="167" /></p> <p>Microsoft is going to be <strike>giving away</strike> selling their software bundles for $3. Three freaking dollars!</p> <p>From the <a href="http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/312287_msftinternational19.html">Seattle PI</a> (via <a href="http://www.seattlest.com/archives/2007/04/19/saving_the_world_one_pc_at_a_time.php">Seattlest</a>):</p> <p class="blockquote">In Beijing this morning, <a href="http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/1700AP_China_Bill_Gates.html?source=mypi">Bill Gates announced plans</a> for Microsoft to offer a package of Windows, Office and other software for $3 to government programs that distribute subsidized PCs to students around the world. The &quot;Student Innovation Suite,&quot; to be released later this year, is part of a new push by the company to increase access to computers around the world, and in developing nations in particular.</p> <p>The company says it will sell a software suite containing those programs and others for $3 to government initiatives that distribute subsidized PCs to students in India, China and elsewhere. The suite will also be available to government programs that supply computers to low-income students in developed nations, including the U.S. </p> <p>What&#39;s the going rate for bootleg software in most Third World countries, I wonder - is this competitive pricing? </p> <p>Essentially, Microsoft is trying to <strike>get their claws into</strike> spread their technology across the computing world, partly to be nice and partly to keep anyone in poor countries from using Linux. </p> <p class="blockquote">If the company doesn&#39;t take action, the risk is that there &quot;may be billions of these computers that will not have Microsoft software,&quot; he said. Although Microsoft wants to &quot;make good for the world&quot; by increasing access to computers, it also wants to position its business to be part of the market expansion.</p> <p>There are cynical things to be said about this, but as Seattlest points out, can you see Apple doing something even close to offering affordable software? To anyone?</p> <p>Steve Jobs? Offering cheap software to poor students in Third World countries? No.</p> <p>Yelling at poor students in Third World countries? Most definitely. </p> <p><em>(Picture by </em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/people/jeffwilcox/"><em>Jeff Wilcox)</em></a></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/microsoft-office-for-3-third-world-perks">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jobs-gore-08-the-most-popular-democratic-ad-is-on-the-iphone">Jobs-Gore 08? The most popular Democratic ad is on the iPhone</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-charities-do-you-give-to">Ask the readers: What charities do you give to?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-office-potluck-dishes-everyone-loves">20 Office Potluck Dishes Everyone Loves</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-signs-youre-working-for-an-impossible-boss">7 Signs You&#039;re Working for an Impossible Boss</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-employee-perks-are-good-for-business">5 Ways Employee Perks Are Good for Business</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Commentary altruism Bill Evil Empire Microsoft Office OS Steve Jobs Windows XP Tue, 24 Apr 2007 22:35:25 +0000 Andrea Karim 557 at http://www.wisebread.com Hacking your way to a better life http://www.wisebread.com/hacking-your-way-to-a-better-life <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/hacking.jpg" alt=" " width="214" height="167" /></p> <p>I love how the concept of hacking has changed so much over the past few years. I&#39;m particularly taken with <a href="http://www.hackszine.com/">Hack Zine</a>, a site the collects some of the best hacks on the web. Like <a href="http://lifehacker.com/software/google-calendar/geek-to-live--sync-google-calendar-and-gmail-contacts-to-your-desktop-251279.php">Lifehacker</a>, Hack Zine seeks out ways to make life easier, cheaper, and generally more fun.</p> <p>Here are some hacks that I particularly like.</p> <p class="sub-heading"><a href="http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/network/2006/12/21/using-google-to-view-myspace-or-any-restricted-sites.html">Using Google to view any page, anywhere</a></p> <p class="blockquote">Most companies and schools employ proxy servers to filter unwanted sites so employees won&#39;t waste precious company resources surfing sites that the companies deem unproductive. While the use of proxy servers to block unwanted sites may be understandable in commercial cases, there are also companies that are overdoing it, banning almost all websites and creating a lot of inconvenience to their employees.</p> <p>We DO NOT RECOMMEND that you use this method to surf porn at work. Via Consumerist.</p> <p class="sub-heading"><a href="http://www.hackszine.com/blog/archive/2007/04/windows_gaming_in_linux.html">Play Windows games on a Linux box</a></p> <p class="blockquote">For a lot of of Linux devotees, gaming has always been the reason for keeping an extra Windows machine, so it&#39;s pretty interesting to see this barrier crumbling. </p> <p class="sub-heading"><a href="http://www.satellitesweeper.com/hacking-tivo-and-dvr.htm">Tivo Hacks</a></p> <p class="blockquote">If you&#39;re a hardcore DVR user you&#39;ve probably spent some time collecting missed episodes of your favorite shows. But pretty soon that hard drive fills up and you have to make a decision between missing new shows and dumping old ones. With a little hacking, however, you never have to dump shows again. Just convert those old shows to MPEG format and either store them on your computer or burn them onto DVD&#39;s. (TiVo Series 2 Only) </p> <p class="sub-heading"><a href="http://www.wildwoodsurvival.com/survival/fire/cokeandchocolatebar/">Fire! Fire!</a></p> <p class="blockquote">To make fire from a can of coke and a chocolate bar is actually quite easy, and you don&#39;t need any tools. </p> <p>(Picture by Greg of <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/myhobosoul/">My Hobo Soul)</a></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/hacking-your-way-to-a-better-life">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/quick-vista-hack-to-get-you-browsing-at-high-speed-again">Quick Vista Hack to Get You Browsing at High-Speed Again</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/51-uses-for-coca-cola-the-ultimate-list">51 Uses for Coca-Cola – the Ultimate List</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/could-the-chromebook-crush-windows">Could the Chromebook Crush Windows?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-siri-can-be-your-personal-finance-assistant">9 Ways Siri Can Be Your Personal Finance Assistant</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-expensive-stocks-that-are-totally-worth-it">7 Expensive Stocks That Are Totally Worth It</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks apple chocolate Coke fire gaming Google hack life hacking Linux Windows Wed, 18 Apr 2007 18:42:26 +0000 Andrea Karim 526 at http://www.wisebread.com