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Home-equity loans are back, pitfalls included
The Wall Street Journal
Home-equity lending is on the rise, as housing values increase.
But these loans are still relatively difficult to get. And even if you can tap your housing equity in this fashion, that's a move you should make only under certain circumstances. It's important to avoid the mistakes that so many homeowners made during the housing boom and bust, which left them devoid of equity — or worse, in foreclosure.
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Find rebates for energy-efficient improvements
Home improvements that increase energy efficiency are appealing on many levels, from saving you money on heating and cooling costs to the confidence you get from knowing you’re doing something good for the environment. They're even better when you can get some money back from the initial investment of making those improvements.
Proper fenestration installation goes beyond the installer
Window & Door
Jim Snyder writes, "Fenestration performance complaints in new home construction can be frustrating, costly and time-consuming to fix. Should a performance issue arise with the installation, the installers are the ones called in to address the problem. A reliable installer will own up to the issue and resolve it.
That being said, I need to pose this question: Is the fenestration installer solely responsible for the performance of the installation?"
Energy-efficient window coatings have come a long way from the days of the super dark tint
Window film, a transparent barrier that, its makers say, keeps big bad sunrays from eating up your furniture and driving up your air-conditioning bills, is at its best unseen.
And that's the problem. How do you know it's there? Because it's invisible, one is tempted to put it in the same category as the Emperor's New Clothes, or as those who buy and sell galactic stars. It's easy to worry that homeowners are buying into some big transparent lie.
Best 'green' improvements to enhance your home
When it comes to improving a house's energy efficiency, many homeowners are unsure where to start.
According to local contractors, there has been an increased interest in "green" improvements since 2009, when new energy-efficiency tax credits were offered by the federal government.
EPA releases final Energy Star V6 criteria
Window & Door
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released the final Energy Star Version 6.0 Residential Windows, Doors, and Skylights Specification. V6 will take effect Jan. 1, 2015, with the exception of the Northern Zone prescriptive and equivalent energy performance criteria for windows, which will take effect Jan. 1, 2016.
7 tax deductions and credits that many people often overlook
The Motley Fool via DailyFinance
Whether you love them or despise them, taxes are one of life's only two sure things, at least according to Benjamin Franklin.
But for many, having taxes taken out of their paycheck on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis is their only form of savings during the year. Although the personal savings rate in the U.S. of 4.2 percent is off its historic lows, relative to other nations around the world it's pretty low. This means that despite the unpopularity of taxes, they can deliver quite a pop to a number of Americans come February, when tax refunds begin to trickle in.
4 simple tips for effective networking for business app resellers
Business 2 Community
For many, networking is a chore that yields few rewards. But with a few basic tips, you can network more, and network more effectively. In this post is the backbone of an approach that can frequently lead to connections that matter. Keep these tips in mind, and your networking efforts should get a nice boost.
How to avoid 5 IT career missteps
Just because you've landed that dream job or gotten that promotion doesn't mean you can rest on your laurels. It's just as important to keep working on the skills, values and goals that helped land you that job in the first place, even after you've been hired. Chris Duchesne, vice president of global workforce solutions at Care.com, offers his five top tips for avoiding career missteps.
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