Vacation home moochers, the big 4 are preparing for battle, and holiday tech goodies
Don’t forget to change your clock back an hour in most parts of the US.
Buying a vacation home is a dream for many. Unfortunately having all your friends mooch off you is often the post-purchase reality. The Wall Street Journal explores how various owners go about negotiating hurt feelings, dirty towels and politely telling your neighbors that you’d love for them to visit you in Italy and here’s a list of nearby hotels to try.
Helicopter drones looking for work outside the military might do well to apply at their local real estate office for a job. Turns out they’re not just good for conducting unmanned aerial strikes against insurgents, drones can also be used to sell mansions, via in-depth tour videos made with cameras mounted to their frames.
Freddie Mac is losing money and will seek additional cash from the federal government.
It’s from last month, but Fast Company had a great article on the coming tech war of 2012 between the four big players in the industry: Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon. Each is moving into the others’ territory, each has the resources and vision to fight, each could transform the playing field significantly. It’s an interesting piece on how the world is changing and where we might be headed.
Is your life getting worse or better? The Washington Post has an interactive feature where you can compare how you think things are going vs others in your state vs cold hard facts. It can take a minute to figure out where you are located but then it’s pretty slick.
Remember when you had to pay for for a web browser? In October, Internet Explorer usage drops below 50%. What are people using instead? For many the answer is Chrome. Webmonkey has some great charts showing how quickly people adopt new versions of their favorite browser. Not surprisingly IE has the flattest adoption curve.
Turns out consumers have some pull. When the other big banks didn’t follow suit, Bank of America dropped plans to charge consumers a monthly debit-card fee.
The advantages of flexible tablet and smartphone displays are obvious: They’re more durable, and they pave the way for new input methods, such as bending the display to zoom. Pete Cashmore has the details of what to expect.
4 BR, 2 BA, 1 Ghost: What the Law Says About Selling Haunted Houses
Hoarders have another reason to get help: Being a hoarder could hinder the ability to get or keep homeowners insurance.
Fox News has a slideshow of some of this holiday season’s hottest tech toys for good girls and boys.
Pets are costly. If you thought your medical bills were high, what about those for that family member that isn’t covered by your insurance? The Wall Street Journal looks at skyrocketing pet medical bills.
If your New Year’s resolution involves selling a home in 2011, you’ve got some work to do: There’s lots of inventory out there and in a buyer’s market like this one, getting an offer on a home can be challenging.
An interesting opinion piece in the New York Times this week on what would happen if the government got out of supporting 30-year mortgages via GSE’s like Freddie and Fannie. The author concludes it would almost certainly be the end of the road for the fixed-rate 30-year mortgage. And it would be harder to implement than it looks.
Was there a new smart phone under the tree for you this year? Feeling out of the loop when it comes to iPhone apps? New York Times technology writer Bob Tedeschi shares the Top 10 Must-Have Apps for the iPhone. And if you have a new Android or Blackberry, Gizmodo has its guide to How to Make that New Smartphone Actually Smart.
Now that you have a new phone, what do you do with the old one? With the U.S. generating over 2 million tons of electronics waste each year, many states have opted for recycling and safe disposal laws. Before you dump your old TV, computer or other equipment in the trash, know where your state stands. The Washington Post gives the scoop.
And if your old phone still is in working order, why not see if you can get some cash for it? Eric Gwinn of the Chicago Tribune has some suggestions for selling your old electronics. To get the most out of your sale, be sure you have the model number, smaller items sell faster and it’s best to include all the original manuals, box and disks.
And what about the Christmas tree? Lots of towns and communities now offer ways to recycle via local parks departments and such, but there are other more creative solutions. In Chico, CA you can donate them to the local goat farm where they will become a tasty treat. Or how about a new habitat for fish (good news for anglers).
Wrapping paper, boxes, broken ornaments – this is generally a heavy season for trash. Unless you’re the Johnson family from Mill Valley, CA. The generally have no trash and only minimal recycling each week. Longing for the simple life yourself? It sounds like a full-time job to me (could I even bring my own jars and containers to the local supermarket?), but Sunset has a slide show of how they do it.
With the close of the fiscal year often referred to as “the giving season,” we thought it fitting to share news of a charity-related website. New York Times writer Jenna Wortham gives the scoop on Jumo, a new social networking site designed for connecting with, reviewing, and rating charities.
A funny thing about the digital age – the more information we have access to, the more misinformation we get hit with. CBS MoneyWatch.com via Yahoo looks at misinformation found in real estate.
The Wisconsin Real Estate Magazine provides great tips for rising above the crowd. Become an expert, communicate through many channels—blogs, websites, podcasting, handwritten notes, and always be open to acquiring knowledge.
Conventional wisdom favors listing houses for sale in the spring and summer when demand is strongest. But, according to Forbes, this year experts predict that the selling boom, which normally starts in spring, will hit at a different time than it has in the past. Sellers with flexibility should market their homes earlier in the year.
As it gets colder, heating your home is more and more important. Here are 10 mistakes that people often make with heating. Although I know about #4, I can’t help but dream of a crackling fire on snowy/rainy weekends.
Consumer Reports has tips to keep you and your family safe while decorating for the holidays.
Everyone has their hand out at the end of the year – from your barber, your doorman, dog-sitter, manicurist, all the way to personal stylist and life coach. How much of your hard-earned cash should you give as a holiday tip? US News has a guide for end-of-year tipping. I think I’ll skip tipping the garbage man though, thanks.
As you may already know, YouTube is not just a site for goofy videos. It is also a site choke-full of learning tools. How do I say “Good Morning” in Russian or backup my smartphone contacts to my PC? YouTube offers dozens of step-by-step videos to answer these questions and more. *BUT*… how do you access these videos when you don’t have Internet access (read = air travel)? Easy: get a YouTube downloader. We read Cnet’s YouTube downloader review page to find the right tool.