Money

8 Ways To Keep Your Home Safe During Vacation

MoneyTips

Pack your bags and grab the kids. The vacation of your dreams is about to begin. Just make sure you have properly secured your home before you head for the beach/mountains/jungle or you may return to a nasty surprise.

  1. Secure All Windows and Doors - Keeping your home locked up will deter most potential vandals or robbers from targeting it. Of course, make sure that you fasten all windows and doors before you leave for vacation. Additionally, if you have a sliding glass door, leave a pole in the track to prevent the door from being forced open. Alternatively, some sliding glass doors have a hole you can stick a nail into, which prevents them from opening. Finally, disable your automatic garage door opener just in case someone has its signal decoded.

  2. Temporarily Stop the Mail and Newspaper - A couple of days before you depart, place a hold on your mail and your newspaper subscription. Most people let their mail a...

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Avoiding Mortgage Scams

MoneyTips

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. That's sound advice for almost all aspects of life, including the search for mortgage relief services.

Distressed homeowners don't have to resort to third-party mortgage services. Free counseling is available at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD programs such as the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) can allow qualified homeowners to refinance their home at more favorable terms.

If you don't qualify for any HUD programs, you can work directly with your lender or consult with third-party mortgage counseling services. However, you must be careful to distinguish legitimate mortgage services from scammers. Scammers are adept at taking advantage of desperate homeowners for their own gain without providing any assistan...

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