Next 3 Marvel Studios Movies: ‘Captain Marvel,’ ‘Avengers: Endgame,’ ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’

Next 3 Marvel Studios Movies: 'Captain Marvel,' 'Avengers: Endgame,' 'Spider-Man: Far From Home'

The chilly month of December has warmed up nicely, thanks to superheroes. The animated adventure Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (above), opening in theaters this coming Friday, December 14, has already received rave reviews. Advance word on Aquaman, opening in theaters the following Friday, December 21, has also been very positive.

To further stoke the excitement, Marvel Studios released two new trailers last week, with a third tipped for wide release soon. Let's look a bit closer at…

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Redskins routed by Giants, 40-16, as most fans leave at halftime of embarrassing home loss

Washington trailed 34-0 after two quarters in a loss that effectively ended its playoff hopes. Josh Johnson replaced Mark Sanchez and produces two late scoring drives.
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[Slideshow] Black Real Estate Investor’s Labor of Love Restoring Aretha Franklin Home

The renowned home in Detroit previously owned by the late legendary singer Aretha Franklin is getting a major makeover.

The new owner, Anthony Kellum, president of Kellum Mortgage, told Black Enterprise that it’s a tremendous opportunity to work on the Queen of Soul’s home. He bought the mansion, built in 1927 on the Detroit Golf Course, in late October for $ 300,000 after Franklin passed in August.

“To be able to blend the historical elements of a home that was built in the ’20s, while keeping some of Aretha’s glamorous and soulful style and adding the necessary modern touches, will truly be a beautiful challenge that I just couldn’t pass up,” Kellum says.

See It! Inside Aretha Franklin’s Sold Estate 

aretha franklin home

Spanning 6,200 square feet, the brick Tudor home includes five bedrooms, six bathrooms and a heated three-car garage with 9-foot ceilings. Kellum says the house has been vacant for 10 years and requires major renovations. Kellum says he understands that Franklin lived in the home off and on for several years but is not clear why it was vacant for so long.

He plans to invest roughly $ 400,000 to rehab the property, restore its original beauty and maintain its historical integrity. Kellum says the foundation is in good shape, but the interior needs significant work. The improvements will include repairs to a slate roof and new piping.

Kellum plans to re-design the kitchen, bathrooms, and rehab every room. “One challenge will be keeping as many unique aspects as we possibly can such as the intricate details of the fireplaces as well as original wood paneling, and the rich molding throughout the house.”  He plains to retain some chandeliers and other fixtures in the 91-year-old home.

“We want to blend some of the original elements in the home with some modern touches.”

Extensive work on the home that sits on the club’s 7th hole will begin in January. Kellum aims to complete the renovation by late May, allowing him to rent the home to people attending the inaugural PGA Tour at the Detroit Golf Club in late June.

Kellum plans to list Franklin property for sale by July 2019 for about $ 1.5 million. He plans to build a home on a half-acre next door he acquired in the deal that Franklin also owned. He hopes to sell the Franklin home to a family who appreciates its historical importance and value Aretha Franklin’s legacy.

Additionally, the property has sentimental value to Kellum.  His mother was a huge fan of Franklin’s who listened to her music every day when he was a kid.

“When I walked through the property it was an emotional experience for me,” Kellum says. “I see this as an opportunity to not only revitalize an iconic property in the city I love but knowing how proud my mom would be if she were still here, makes this even more amazing.”

As a black real estate investor who works in the Motor City, Kellum says he is acutely aware of the importance of the estate and the massive impact Aretha Franklin had on Detroit.

Kellum is founder and president of Kellum Mortgage and Kellum Capital Group, both based in Troy, Michigan. He has rehabilitated homes in the Detroit area for over 15 years. Kellum says he has generated over $ 850 million in residential and commercial real estate lending transactions since 1995, with 90% of that activity in the black community.

“I intend to partner with black-owned businesses and laborers on the construction of Ms. Franklin’s home,” he says. “We’re also going to explore partnerships with nonprofits, and local and national museums to see what we can do.”

See! Aretha Franklin’s Home Before She Bought It

aretha franklin home

 

The post [Slideshow] Black Real Estate Investor’s Labor of Love Restoring Aretha Franklin Home appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Treat Yo’ Self… for Pennies: 25 Spa Treatments You Can Do at Home

Want to know a secret?

I’ve never had a professional massage.

I totally get why they’re appealing, but they’re just not my jam.

Manicures, on the other hand?  Heck, yeah.

My tombstone will read, “How do my nails look?”

I’m not gonna lie, getting my nails done every two weeks or so costs a pretty penny (or 6,000, to be exact), but it’s the one luxury I budget for even if it means using cheap body wash or mascara.

The main reason I go to a salon to get my manicure done is because there’s no way I could do it at home. I’m basically the most uncoordinated person on the planet, so I’d end up with acrylic powder in my eye and nail shellac on the walls.

For all other spa-type treatments, though, I’m strictly a DIY gal.

Here are some of my favorite ways to indulge myself easily right in the comfort of my own home — without spending a fortune.

15 Ways to Get Your DIY Spa Day On

  1. Everything you’ve heard about coconut oil is true. Skip the expensive body lotion and deep conditioner and use this low-cost alternative instead. An entire jar will run you only about $ 4 and will last for months.
  2. Apply an avocado or egg mask to your hair at the beginning of your spa routine, then wrap your head in a warm towel. Let it work its magic for at least 20 minutes while you give yourself a lip scrub. One egg will set you back 10 cents, and an avocado is about $ 1.
  3. Korean sheet masks make your skin look amazing, but they can be awfully pricy. I picked up a handful at my local dollar store for a buck each and discovered they work just as well as the expensive brands. If you buy in bulk, you can save even more pennies.
  4. Speaking of masks, if you use Lush cosmetics or know someone who does, hang onto those little black pots and bottles the products come in. You’ll score a free face mask when you turn in five empties. That’s a savings of at least $ 9.95!
  5. Clear up blemishes and reduce fine lines with a 60-cent container of plain, generic-brand yogurt! Whether you use it plain or jazz it up with extras like a dash of honey or oatmeal, your pores will thank you.

  1. After rinsing off the mask, I like to give myself a five-minute face massage. It’s surprisingly relaxing — and totally free!

    1. If you’ve got a few dollars to spare, sign up for a Sephora Play! subscription. For just $ 10 per month, you’ll get a box delivered right to your door filled with deluxe product samples and a bonus fragrance.
    2. This homemade eucalyptus sugar scrub is both energizing and effective. For less than a dollar’s worth of sugar, you can make a batch to slough off dry, dead skin, leaving behind a tingly clean that smells luxurious.
    3. For a change of pace, I like to mix things up and exfoliate my skin with this three-ingredient coffee body scrub that you can make with the (free!) used coffee grounds left over from your morning brew. It reportedly also reduces the appearance of cellulite. (Don’t tell me if that’s just an old wives’ tale — I don’t want to know.)
    4. Sometimes my skin just isn’t up for a harsh scrub down. That’s when I whip together this gentle scrub that rinses off easily with warm water. Not bad for 60 cents worth of oat bran. (I’ve tried it without wheat germ, and it still works great.)
    5. If you plan to shave during your spa time, try dry brushing first to prevent ingrown hairs and razor-burn bumps.
    6. If I’m going to sport beautiful nails, the rest of my hand better keep up appearances, too. This lemon-sugar hand scrub is so easy to make, smells amazing and costs less than $ 2. After you rinse it off, slather on some hand lotion and take a minute to admire your, er, handiwork.
    7. Do you know why every spa scene in a movie or on TV depicts someone with cucumber slices on their eyes? Because it works! For about 75 cents, you’ll have all the slices you need, plus leftovers for salad. (Tea bags dampened with a bit of cool water are also a great way to reduce puffy, irritated eyes if you’re fresh out of cukes.)

  1. I’m cursed with dark skin patches on my face (thanks, hormones!) that make me look like I blended my foundation with my eyes closed. One way I keep the discoloration in check is by dabbing a few pennies worth of lemon juice and honey on the affected areas. You can blend the ingredients together or apply them one after the other. Leave it on for about 20 minutes before rinsing off with warm water.

    15. Treat your feet to a nice soak with whatever gentle bath wash you have on hand. Follow it up with a homemade foot scrub that costs less than $ 1. Simply stir one part coconut oil into two parts sugar and scent with a few drops of essential oil. A dash of lemon juice adds extra oomph. To kick (ha!) things up a notch, slather on some lotion and cover your tootsies with thick socks while the moisturizer works its magic.

10 Easy Ways to Spa-ify Your Surroundings

While planning your day of indulgence, don’t forget to design your own relaxation grotto. Give your bathroom a deep clean and then:

  1. Splurge on a soft, thick towel.
  2. Pick up some pretty containers from the dollar store to hold all the scrubs and potions you make.
  3. Scour thrift shops for a fluffy bathrobe to wear while relaxing.
  4. Get some inexpensive candles to create ambience during bath time — or make your own.
  5. Set a plant or vase of flowers in the bathroom, because greenery makes everything better.
  6. Cover your bathroom window with frosted contact paper to diffuse bright sunlight that might harsh your mellow.
  7. Put a few sprigs of eucalyptus on the corner of the bathtub to create a clean, refreshing scent when you run the hot water.
  8. Buy a bathtub overflow drain cover so you can fill the tub extra deep and soak all the way up to your chin.
  9. Queue up this chill Spotify playlist.
  10. Make some cucumber-infused water to sip as you spa.

Want even more DIY spa ideas? Check out how to make your own sea salt spray, body lotion and more.

Disclosure: We don’t hesitate to pick pennies off the sidewalk when we spot them. But the affiliate links in this post help our earnings grow even quicker. Plus, it’s a lot cleaner than sidewalk money.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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[Slideshow] Black Real Estate Investor’s Labor of Love Restoring Aretha Franklin Home

The renowned home in Detroit previously owned by the late legendary singer Aretha Franklin is getting a major makeover.

The new owner, Anthony Kellum, president of Kellum Mortgage, told Black Enterprise that it’s a tremendous opportunity to work on the Queen of Soul’s home. He bought the mansion, built in 1927 on the Detroit Golf Course, in late October for $ 300,000 after Franklin passed in August.

“To be able to blend the historical elements of a home that was built in the ’20s, while keeping some of Aretha’s glamorous and soulful style and adding the necessary modern touches, will truly be a beautiful challenge that I just couldn’t pass up,” Kellum says.

See It! Inside Aretha Franklin’s Sold Estate 

aretha franklin home

Spanning 6,200 square feet, the brick Tudor home includes five bedrooms, six bathrooms and a heated three-car garage with 9-foot ceilings. Kellum says the house has been vacant for 10 years and requires major renovations. Kellum says he understands that Franklin lived in the home off and on for several years but is not clear why it was vacant for so long.

He plans to invest roughly $ 400,000 to rehab the property, restore its original beauty and maintain its historical integrity. Kellum says the foundation is in good shape, but the interior needs significant work. The improvements will include repairs to a slate roof and new piping.

Kellum plans to re-design the kitchen, bathrooms, and rehab every room. “One challenge will be keeping as many unique aspects as we possibly can such as the intricate details of the fireplaces as well as original wood paneling, and the rich molding throughout the house.”  He plains to retain some chandeliers and other fixtures in the 91-year-old home.

“We want to blend some of the original elements in the home with some modern touches.”

Extensive work on the home that sits on the club’s 7th hole will begin in January. Kellum aims to complete the renovation by late May, allowing him to rent the home to people attending the inaugural PGA Tour at the Detroit Golf Club in late June.

Kellum plans to list Franklin property for sale by July 2019 for about $ 1.5 million. He plans to build a home on a half-acre next door he acquired in the deal that Franklin also owned. He hopes to sell the Franklin home to a family who appreciates its historical importance and value Aretha Franklin’s legacy.

Additionally, the property has sentimental value to Kellum.  His mother was a huge fan of Franklin’s who listened to her music every day when he was a kid.

“When I walked through the property it was an emotional experience for me,” Kellum says. “I see this as an opportunity to not only revitalize an iconic property in the city I love but knowing how proud my mom would be if she were still here, makes this even more amazing.”

As a black real estate investor who works in the Motor City, Kellum says he is acutely aware of the importance of the estate and the massive impact Aretha Franklin had on Detroit.

Kellum is founder and president of Kellum Mortgage and Kellum Capital Group, both based in Troy, Michigan. He has rehabilitated homes in the Detroit area for over 15 years. Kellum says he has generated over $ 850 million in residential and commercial real estate lending transactions since 1995, with 90% of that activity in the black community.

“I intend to partner with black-owned businesses and laborers on the construction of Ms. Franklin’s home,” he says. “We’re also going to explore partnerships with nonprofits, and local and national museums to see what we can do.”

See! Aretha Franklin’s Home Before She Bought It

aretha franklin home

 

The post [Slideshow] Black Real Estate Investor’s Labor of Love Restoring Aretha Franklin Home appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

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What to Wear to Work From Home

what to wear to work from home

Everyone’s eyebrows shot up when The Wall Street Journal suggested that instead of sweatpants, you should be wearing proper office clothes to work from home. You may be wondering: what specifically does the WSJ say I should wear to work from home? Is it like comfortable workwear for late nights, the kind of stuff you wear when you suspect you’ll be stuck at the office for hours and hours past your usual quitting time? Comfortable magic pants for work that feel like pajamas but aren’t? Maybe, you think, it’s the kind of stuff that we here at Corporette have suggested you might consider wearing to work on the weekend if you’re supervising people — fleece blazers and jardigans and things. 

Um, no. This was what the WSJ suggests you wear to work from home, and Twitter had a field day with it

I kind of feel like the phrase “slacks” might apply. (Should we be wearing pantyhose under the slacks as well?) And I love that they show the purse in there — like you should be walking around your home with your purse so you can complete your look. Total dollar value of everything pictured there: $ 4,195. 

I mean… 

We’ve talked a lot about comfortable workwear, as well as how to set up the best home office and (over at CorporetteMoms) we’ve discussed mistakes to avoid when working from home. But we haven’t actually talked about what to wear to work from home, so let’s discuss. Readers who work from home all or most of the time — what do you wear to work from home? Readers who work from home sometimes, what do you wear to work from home? 

What I Wear to Work From Home on Solo Days

Even though we have a small team at Corporette (me, Kate, April at CorporetteMoms, and a few others for occasional/part-time work), we conduct almost all of our correspondence via Slack, email, or telephone — so it really doesn’t matter what I wear for anyone but myself. Personally, I don’t notice a huge difference in productivity if I’m “dressed” versus if I’m in, say, workout clothes. As I kind of got into in our discussion on makeup looks for different occasions, my work-from-home look has slightly shifted from when I worked from home occasionally to now, when I work from home all the time:  

When I only worked from home occasionally, this generally meant “no makeup.” When I started working from home all the time, though, I struggled with this a bit because I had read all this stuff about how if you’re working from home you should “get dressed as if you’re going into the office,” and it conflicted with my previous “no makeup” mentality. Even if I had successfully completed a workout, if it was just me, why should I put on makeup? It all came down to “who am I wearing makeup for anyway”? … What I’ve settled on lately for ease of application but a bit more polished than absolutely no makeup is sheer lipstick like a Chubby stick, blush, undereye concealer, waterproof eyeliner, and occasionally a liquid shadow. The routine takes me about two minutes, maybe less.

So “looking dressed” for me involves a 2-minute makeup routine and basically weekend wear in terms of clothes — jeans, cords, leggings-as-pants, maybe occasionally a super easy dress. Simple jewelry. No heels. (The only difference with my actual weekend wear is that, during the weekend itself when the kids and I are around each other all day, I may wear more easily washable stuff like fleece tops from Gibson (affiliate link) or actual sweatshirts.) My daily work from home look is a little bit more relaxed from my “business casual” look when I was a staff attorney at a non profit, but that’s only because my “business casual look” at the time was the more comfortable end of my “conservative law firm attire” — much of what I wear now, I would wear to a business casual office. 

What to Wear to Work From Home If You’re Video Conferencing, Supervising People At Home, Or More

I think these situations are entirely different cans of worms, and I’d love to hear from people who do it often. (I’ve actually been meaning to write a separate post about what to wear for video conferencing.) Some quick thoughts:

  • If your work from home includes videoconferencing, think about what will be visible in the video. I know a lot of women who wear “personality glasses” as a way of minimizing makeup needs, and that can include work from home purposes — if you have a big pair of Warby Parkers on and your hair in a bun or otherwise pulled back it’s an acceptably studious look. I always think a collar looks nice, so consider having a cardigan with a shawl collar, a comfortable blazer somewhere nearby to throw on before your videoconference, or even the crisp collar of a blouse. A simple necklace goes a long way towards framing your face or finishing your look. You also want to think about what will be on view behind you, of course — if you’re working from your bedroom, try to angle the camera so it’s not facing your bed or the huge pile of clothes on the chair that you keep meaning to hang up. (Just me?) 
  • If your work from home includes supervising others, consider a stricter interpretation of business casualFor example, I’ve heard of some lawyers who are either solo practitioners or the sole firm representative in their city, and they may work in their home with a paralegal or other assistant, either on a daily basis or an occasional basis. Every relationship is different, of course — these tend to be highly personal situations, after all! — but I would urge you to consider being on the more formal side of things. For example, instead of ripped skinny jean leggings or yoga pants, wear knit ponte pants like NYDJ or the beloved Eileen Fisher magic pants

Readers, over to you — what do you wear to work from home? Would you wear the WSJ’s outfit? Do you feel more productive if you’re dressed in business casual for the day? 

Just for kicks, here’s some of my preferred work from home attire recently…


Pictured at top and on pin: via Stencil.

The Wall Street Journal recently suggested that if you work from home, you should wear slacks, loafers, and a $  3500+ purse. Say what? Even if you're in a really conservative field like law, consulting, or investment banking -- the kind of male-dominated fields where a business suit would be totally appropriate most days at the office -- we say NOPE. We listed our thoughts on what to wear to work from home, both if you're working by yourself, AS WELL AS what to wear to work from home if you're videoconferencing or using Zoom or Google Hangouts for meetings -- as well as what to wear to work from home if you happen to supervise someone else in your home, like a paralegal or assistant. What are YOUR thoughts on what to wear to work from home? Come share...

The post What to Wear to Work From Home appeared first on Corporette.com.

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Home is the Most Dangerous Place for Women Around the World

For a majority of women around the world, home isn’t where the heart is. Instead, it’s where danger lives.

In 2017, activists marched in Montevideo to end violence against women with UN Women and decried femicide. A new report by the UN shows that female homicides are increasing—and that for a majority of victims, those closest to them put them at the most risk. (UN Women / Creative Commons)

According to new findings from the UN, 58 percent of 87,000 recorded female homicides from 2017 were committed by intimate partners or family members—and that rates of such crimes have increased since 2012. The most common motives men gave for such killings were jealousy and fear of abandonment, whereas women who murdered their own male partners often said that they did so in the wake of long-term patterns of physical violence in their relationship.

“Women continue to pay the highest price as a result of gender inequality, discrimination and negative stereotypes,” Yury Fedotov, the UN Office of Drugs and Crime Executive Director, told Agence France-Presse. “The fact that women continue to be affected by this type of violence to a greater degree than men is indicative of an imbalance in power relations between women and men inside the domestic sphere.”

The UN report found that Africa had the highest rate of women killed by intimate partners in 2017—such violence claimed about 1.7 percent of women in the region. The Americas had the second-highest rate, 1.2 percent; Oceania was ranked third at 0.9 percent; Europe was fourth with 0.6 percent; and Asia, which had the highest number of female homicides in 2017—a total of 20,000 recorded cases—was fifth, with 0.5 percent of those deaths resulting from intimate partner violence.

Data collection practices vary from country to country, and the report did not mention if transgender women were included in the statistics—but despite shortcomings, the findings still paint a stark and urgent picture for advocates worldwide. “There’s limitations to the data,” Jodie Roure, a professor at John Jay College in New York who has done extensive research on violence against women, told the New York Times. “Are we getting a perfect picture? No. But the important part is that we’re talking about it, because we weren’t talking about it not too long ago.”

This study, which was released during the UN’s annual 16 Days Against Gender-Based Violence campaign, also laid out recommendations for law enforcement officers, criminal justice agencies and health and social service sector leaders in order to reduce female homicides—and called on men to become allies to the women in their lives and communities.

“In order to prevent and tackle gender-related killing of women and girls,” it declared, “men need to be involved in efforts to combat intimate partner violence/family-related homicide and in changing cultural norms that move away from violent masculinity and gender stereotypes.”

Kohinur Khyum Tithila is a journalist based in Bangladesh. She is a Fulbright scholar and received her second master’s degree in Magazine, Newspaper, & Online Journalism from Syracuse University, first master’s degree in criminology and criminal justice from Dhaka University, and bachelor’s degree in English from East West University. Kohinur writes about LGBTQ and women’s issues, feminism, crime, secularism, social justice and human rights. She is also addicted to anything caffeinated.

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The post Home is the Most Dangerous Place for Women Around the World appeared first on Ms. Magazine Blog.

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With this $25 gadget, Amazon will finally get you to stop scoffing at the idea of a ‘smart home’

Amazon's smart plug lets you easily control lights, appliances and other gadgets by voice or with your phone no matter where you are. CNBC will walk you through how to set up and use the Amazon smart plug. It's very easy.
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Pending home sales fall 2.6% in October as more buyers are priced out

Expectations for a stronger housing market in October fell short. Pending homes sales, a measure of signed contracts to buy existing homes, fell 2.6 percent compared with September, according to the National Association of Realtors. 
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Ultimate Buy Black Gift Guide: Home, Decoration, Baby, and Pets

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES: Home, Decoration, Baby and Pets



Beddley

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

(Image: beddley.com)

 

Beddley makes gorgeous, snuggly duvet covers designed to cover a duvet with zero hassle.


That Melanin Life

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

(Image: That Melanin Life/Etsy)

 

That Melanin Life is a home decor and stationery shop that celebrates all melanin beauty (from the Sista Circle: Black Women in Tech, Holiday Gift Guide curated by Sista Circle founder, Lexi Bulter, and stitched together by designer, Adanma Ojukwu.)


Harlem Candle Company

 

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

(Image: harlemcandlecompany.com)

 

Decorative, frangranced candles inspired by the Harlem Renaissance.




















S&S Luxury 

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

(Instagram)

S&S Luxury is a luxury blanket and children’s accessories retailer in Atlanta’s Phipps Plaza mall. You can also order online.


Darlyng & Co.

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

Darlyng & Co. is a lifestyle brand with safe products for parents and babies including the Yummy Mitt Teething Mitten.


 Enjoy-A-Bowl

Ultimate 2018 Holiday Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

Created by a black veterinarian, Enjoy-a-Bowl is patent-pending pet bowl design. It’s a three-part feeding system that allows pet owners to entice their pet’s powerful and unique sense of smell to stimulate their appetite.


The Unique Seat

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

This black mompreneur-created invention  is equipped with two versatile chairs that attach to bleachers, roll into pillows, and have pockets. The interconnected queen-sized blanket is weighted on all of the corners as well as a waterproof bottom to keep everyone comfortable. Perfect to carry to the beach, cook-out, or game day.


Father Figure 

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

Father Figure is a lifestyle brand for new dads and includes products such as the Bandana Burp Rag Set (shown above).


The DreamPad

ULTIMATE 2018 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FROM BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

The DreamPad is a pillow featuring patented sound technology to help you get a great night’s sleep.


Please note: Black Enterprise makes a small commission when you purchase one of these products via the embedded Amazon links. 

The post Ultimate Buy Black Gift Guide: Home, Decoration, Baby, and Pets appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

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Black man arrested after helping drunk neighbor home

SILVER SPRING, Md. — A video posted online shows a black man being arrested after walking a drunken neighbor home. Samir Ahmed tells news outlets he found a man passed out near his front yard in Silver Spring, Maryland, this month and helped him get home. He says returned to find Montgomery County police officers…
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FHA vs. Conventional Loans: How to Tell Which Is Better for Your First Home

You’re planning to purchase your first home. What a glorious event!

Until it comes time to figure out how you’re going to pay for it.

Well, if you’re a first-time homebuyer looking into mortgages, you’ve probably heard of, or looked into, FHA loans. They’re the second most common type of mortgage (behind conventional), but they’re highly popular for home-buying newbies.

Here’s what to know if you’re shopping around.

What Is an FHA Loan?

An FHA loan is a type of home mortgage insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and offered by an FHA-approved financial institution.

This insurance gives banks, credit unions and other lenders more leniency to approve mortgages outside conventional loan requirements.

The major advantages of choosing an FHA loan are the easier credit standards and the lower down payment minimums. And if you’ve had any major credit problems like a foreclosure or bankruptcy, you don’t have to wait as long to obtain an FHA loan as you would for other loans.

While your credit score doesn’t need to be as strong for your loan to be approved, the lower your credit score, the higher your required down payment.

FHA Loan Costs

Credit Score Down Payment Required
500-579 10%
580 or higher 3.5%

Your credit score is also a huge factor in determining what you’ll pay in closing costs. Between 2% and 5% of the loan amount is most common, that’s $ 4,000-$ 10,000 on a $ 200,000 loan.

Another perk of the FHA loan is that if you’re not within the required debt-to-income (DTI) range, you can lower yours by blending DTI ratios with a related, non-occupant co-borrower — like your mom, as long as she doesn’t live with you.

Your DTI ratio is your minimum monthly debt payments divided by your monthly income. You can qualify for an FHA loan with a DTI ratio as high as 50%, but you’re more likely to be approved at 43% or less.

But there are some drawbacks, too.

Homes must meet strict structural standards, making most fixer-uppers hard to get approval for. If you’re set on one, look into an FHA 203K loan. The process for approval is lengthier than for a regular FHA loan, but the mortgage includes estimated home improvement costs in the loan amount.

FHA Loan Requirements

Your credit score and down payment aren’t the only requirements for an FHA loan. Like any other mortgage, there’s a long list of requirements, including:

  • Steady income and employment history, usually for the past two years.
  • The property must be the borrower’s primary residence.
  • The property must meet certain minimum standards for appraisal.
  • The appraisal must be done by an FHA-approved appraiser.
  • Your total monthly payment can’t exceed 31% of gross income.

An FHA loan also requires you to pay a mortgage insurance premium (MIP). No matter how big your down payment is, an upfront MIP payment equal to 1.75% of the base loan amount is added at closing. There’s also an annual mortgage insurance premium — similar to PMI on a conventional loan — that varies depending on your down payment.

For example, most people choosing an FHA loan choose a 30-year fixed mortgage with 3.5% down payment. That’ll incur a 0.85% annual MIP for the entire mortgage term, so on a $ 200,000 loan, annual MIP will start at $ 136.71 and gradually go down over the term of the loan.

A higher down payment of 5%-10%, on loans of less than $ 625,000, will incur a lower annual MIP of 0.8% for the entire mortgage term.

FHA Loan vs. Conventional Loan

Conventional loans are by far the most popular type of mortgage, but does that mean they’re better?

That depends on your financial situation.

Say you’re putting down 5% or more on your house. While FHA loans tend to have slightly lower interest rates, conventional loans tend to be less expensive over the life of the loan — because of differences in mortgage insurance premiums.

However, if you don’t have 5% to put down, an FHA loan with 3.5% down will most likely be cheaper than a conventional loan with only 3% down.

  FHA Conventional
Minimum Credit Score 500 for 10% down

580 for 3.5% down

620
Minimum Down Payment 3.5% 3% minimum,

more commonly 5%

Debt-to-Income Ratio
Closing Costs 1%-6% 2%-5%
Private Mortgage Insurance Requires both a 1.75% upfront premium and 0.45%–1.05% annual premiums. Cannot be canceled if downpayment is     Either a one-time payment or monthly fees from 0.55%–2.25% depending on credit. Can be canceled once 20% in equity is reached.

Some people will say that FHA loans have lower closing costs compared to conventional loans, but it’s actually that real estate agents, mortgage brokers and sellers can pay for the closing costs on the buyer’s behalf, at up to 6% of the new loan amount — double whata conventional loan allows.

Ultimately, you’ll want to talk to a local credit union or trusted mortgage broker to find out which option is best for you and your financial situation.

And remember: No matter which loan you start with, you can always refinance when interest rates drop and make extra principal payments to shorten your loan term. That’s how you’ll save the most money in the long run.

So if home ownership is your dream, go on and get that mortgage.

Jen Smith is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She gives money-saving and debt-payoff tips on Instagram at @savingwithspunk.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Oprah At Home With Gabrielle Union, Dwyane Wade And Their New Baby Kaavia James

Gabrielle Union has been sharing the joys of new motherhood on social media and her fans are here for every moment of it.

The actress wants to be sure y’all aren’t out here butchering her daughter’s name, so she took to Instagram on Sunday to clear up one thing about baby Kaavia James — how to correctly pronounce her name.

“Just greazzzy and happy. That is all,” she beamed in a photo of her and her baby. “@KaaviaJames pronounced Kah-Vee-Uh James.”

Kaavia was born earlier this month via surrogate and has her own social media account with over 147,000 followers.

Instagram Photo

“We wanted to include my family in her name so the ‘James’ is from my uncle James Francis Glass who is also my godfather,” she added. “Union is her middle name. I’ve waited this long so fo sho I was gonna get in there.”

Union and her NBA star hubby Dwayne Wade introduced Kaavia to media mogul Oprah Winfrey, who interviewed the couple at their Los Angeles home for an episode of her show on OWN Network.

Gabby posted an image of them together on Instagram, along with the caption:

“From the Bottle to the Bassinet… No New Friends. Crew. Tight… So excited to share what we have been working on with @oprah & @kaaviajames ..Oprah at Home with Gabrielle Union, Dwyane Wade & Their New Baby”

Oprah’s show airs December 8 at 8PM ET/PT on OWN Network.

Instagram Photo

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Miley Cyrus Celebrates Birthday With Liam, Family, After Wildfires Destroy Her Home

Miley's birthday
Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth. Presley Ann/Patrick McMullan/Getty Images

One year older. Miley Cyrus, who recently lost the home she shared with fiancé Liam Hemsworth to California wildfires, celebrated her 26th birthday with the The Hunger Games star and several of her family members.

In a video posted to brother Trace Cyrus’ Instagram Stories on Thursday, November 22, the “Malibu” singer can be seen covering her face as father Billy Ray Cyrus presents her with a turquoise birthday cake.

Among those looking on are Trace, 29, mom Tish Cyrus, Hemsworth, 28, and sister Noah Cyrus, all of whom join in to sing her a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday.”

Miley's birthday
Miley Cyrus Courtesy Trace Cyrus/Instagram

Billy Ray, 57, shared a photo of the group on Instagram on Thursday. “Thankful for this moment,” he wrote. “My thoughts and prayers with so many hearts that need mended. Peace and love to all.”

Tish, 51, meanwhile, shared a flashback shot of herself on Instagram on Friday, November 23, with her middle daughter as a little girl. “Happy Birthday @mileycyrus. This is def gonna be your BEST year yet! Love you so so much… #26 #happybirthday#loveyou”

The Cyrus vs. Cyrus: Design & Conquer star also shared a newer photo of the pair from the celebration, writing, “Happy Birthday Mczzzzyyyyy.”

Noah, 18, also had a sweet message for her big sister on her big day. “Happy birthday lil girl,” the “Make Me (Cry)” singer wrote on a throwback photo of Miley holding her up on Friday. “I love you endless amounts!”

As for Hemsworth, he took to social media to gush over his love on Friday with an adorable Instagram tribute to the Grammy nominee.  “Happy birthday to my sweet girl,” he wrote on a photo of her hugging a puppy amid a room full of colorful balloons. “You’re more precious than ever. So thankful to have you in my life.”

One week earlier, the Australian actor shared a photo of what was left of the longtime couple’s Malibu home after fire had ravaged the area.

“It’s been a heartbreaking few days. This is what’s left of my house. Love,” he captioned a photo show of the destruction on November 13. “Many people in Malibu and surrounding areas in California have lost their homes also and my heart goes out to everyone who was affected by these fires.”

He continued, “I spent the day in Malibu yesterday and it was amazing to see the community pulling together to help each other out in any way they can. Malibu is a strong community and this event is only going to make it stronger. Thankful for the all the great local guys that helped keep smaller fires out around my property. I love u guys. I love you Malibu. Thank you to all the hero firefighters around California. It’s going to be a journey to rebuild. Stay strong all. To help/donate visit @malibufoundation and @happyhippiefdn.”

Miley’s older sister Brandi Cyrus exclusively opened up to Us Weekly about the loss of the couple’s house at Bumble and Moxy Hotel’s BumbleSpot #attheMoxy launch event in Chicago on November 15. “It, like, just doesn’t seem real,” she told Us. “And unfortunately, Miley is halfway across the world working right now, so for her, she’s probably feeling the worst of it because she feels so helpless from so far away.”

The “Your Favorite Things With Wells & Brandi” podcast cohost, 31, added, “They’re fortunate enough that they have another house to live in, so they’re trying to help raise money for all the people that don’t through the Malibu Foundation … it really is a special place.”

Other celebrities, including Robin Thicke and April Geary, Camille Grammer and Gerard Butler also lost their homes in the fires, which have left more than 80 dead and hundreds of thousands more displaced.

Us Weekly

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Don’t Lose Your Home. Fight Eviction With These 4 Strategies

A few months before the housing market began to implode, 22-year-old Alisa Daly and her boyfriend — now husband — were expecting their first child.

Working at a small trucking company in Arizona, she was close friends with the office manager, and her mother worked for the same firm. So Daly was shocked when her mom called and told Daly she was about to be laid off. Then, a few months after that, the couple’s car broke down and her boyfriend was fired when he didn’t show up for work.

“It made us feel miserable, overwhelmed, depressed and angry,” Daly says.  “We couldn’t get a job anywhere, doing anything. And no one would hire someone that was pregnant.”

As a renter in 2007, she was able to avoid eviction, unlike the 958,000 tenants who were evicted during the housing crisis. But she was on the precipice of a life-changing, community-altering tragedy, according to recent data compiled by the Eviction Lab, a project spearheaded by Princeton University professor Matthew Desmond with millions of dollars in support from the Gates, JPB and Ford Foundations and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

Luckily, Daly, now a homeowner, negotiated a week-to-week payment plan to avoid falling behind in rent — demonstrating what experts say is your best bet if you’re facing eviction. She said dividing the rent into weekly amounts made it easier to budget for.

But when she moved to break her lease after an attempted burglary at her apartment, she also avoided any additional fees by hiring a lawyer and arguing that the landlord had violated the lease by not maintaining the apartment adequately — another option to fight an eviction proceeding.

Even as foreclosures have fallen 67% since the Great Recession, rental evictions declined only 9.6% to 898,479 in 2016, the latest year that statistics are available. And with experts growing concerned about housing affordability, particularly for renters, and wages remaining mostly stagnant, the eviction epidemic is likely to continue.

“If you live in a community that is plagued by eviction, then it is absolutely an epidemic, but it’s an epidemic that’s always been occurring,” said David Dworkin, president and CEO of the National Housing Conference and former housing policy adviser at the U.S. Treasury Department. “And if you don’t live in one of those communities, it’s an epidemic that’s been easy to ignore.”

Here’s Some General Advice on How to Stop an Eviction

A mattress and other belongings are piled hapazardly on a sidelwalk outside the garage door of a house.

Since the Eviction Lab had difficulty compiling all eviction records from some states, including New York and California, the real numbers of people evicted are likely in the millions each year. It could be your neighbor. A family member. It might even be you.

As Alisa Daly’s story shows, you could end up facing eviction through no fault of your own.

Maricopa County, Arizona, Judge Pro Tem Jeremy Rovinsky can see 100 eviction proceedings during a busy day as he does temporary time behind the bench in civil court.

“It’s very difficult for me I have to look people in the eye, people who are struggling, people who are suffering, and tell them they have to leave their home,” he says. “The worst part of my job is having go look them in the eye and say this is the law.”

So how does an eviction work?

First, it’s illegal for landlords to try to evict you by themselves by changing the locks, turning off utilities or through any other method. They must go through the court system.

In most cases, you’ll be served with a notice to vacate, after which you will go before a judge. Be aware that it’s rare for a tenant to win an eviction case for nonpayment. If the judge rules in favor of the landlord, a law enforcement officer will show up and you’ll be forced out of your home.

Although specific eviction laws vary state-by-state, there are some general things you can do if you are facing eviction due to nonpayment of rent. Below, you can see the specific time frames landlords must follow during eviction proceedings, depending on your state.

Negotiate Any Way You Can With Your Landlord or Leasing Company

Usually, it’s in your landlord’s best interest to work out a payment plan so you don’t fall too far behind on rent. For Daly, that meant a week-to-week plan, but it could even be a grace period until you get back on your feet.

But be certain you get whatever agreement you come to in writing.

“[The landlord] neither wants the headache of going to court [n]or that apartment empty,” Rovinsky says.

Documents, Documents, Documents

Depending on your state, or county, there are technicalities that could force your landlord to halt eviction proceedings. These include failure to keep up the property or any sort of retaliation for demanding the landlord follow local tenant laws.

But you’ll need plenty of evidence. Hang on to your lease and read it thoroughly — or if you lost it, pick up a copy from your local Clerk of the Court. Save emails, memos and letters from your landlord and take photos of the property.

“Pictures really are worth 1,000 words in these situations,” said Alan Mills, executive director of the Uptown People’s Law Center in Chicago. “Judges have to figure out who’s telling the truth, and the more documentation, the better chance you have.”

Find a Legal-Aid Service or Church Group Near You

With all of the fine print in each state’s landlord-tenant laws, it was difficult enough just researching this article. If you lose a job, and especially if you have a family to look after, it can be head-spinning to figure out your legal options in an eviction process.

For one, know that a landlord can never lock you out or turn off the utilities — so stay calm and figure out your next move with the help of a local legal-aid office. Most are low-cost or free, and because they focus on working with marginalized folks, they’ll likely have an expert on tenants’ rights.

Rovinsky, the Arizona judge, recently had an eviction case in which a church congregation stepped in with $ 500 so a tenant could afford to avoid eviction for at least that month. Sometimes it can take just a month for you to get back on your feet.

Have a Backup Plan if You Can’t Fight the Eviction

“Make a contingency plan,” Mills says. “The worst thing that can happen to anyone is having the sheriff come put your stuff out on the street.”

That means using what savings you may have to rent a cheap storage unit for a month. And make sure you have a plan to keep your kids and family in place — whether that be with relatives or a homeless shelter.

Your first step should be to call the nationwide resource assistance hotline 211.

Once you are stabilized, know that an eviction will remain on your record. So before you pay for a background check when you are looking for a new apartment or home to rent, be up front with the landlord. You could spend half a month’s rent on background checks alone if you get denied a few times, Mills said.

But don’t lose hope; nonpayment of rent is the least harmful type of eviction to have on your record.

“If landlords only rented to people who have never been evicted, there would be a lot of open property,” Rovinsky said. “It doesn’t mean you’ll never rent again or that your life is over.”

Here Are State-By-State Eviction Guidelines

A couple who look sad hug in a room that is filled with moving boxes.

These brief guidelines will help you understand the timeline and some rights you have as a tenant if you can’t pay rent on time. There are many legal variations in each jurisdiction and even by housing type — and we are not authorized to give legal advice — so we have provided contact numbers for legal-aid services and tenants’-rights groups.

These organizations should help you understand your rights better and may help fight a potential eviction.

The Penny Hoarder also analyzed eviction rates — the percentage of rental properties where tenants faced an eviction in 2016 — to show the cities with the most evictions. For context, the national eviction rate is around 2.3%.

Alabama Arizona Arkansas California Colorado
Connecticut Delaware Washington DC Florida Georgia
Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa
Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland
Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri
Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey
New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio
Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina
South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont
Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

Alabama

In Alabama, the landlord must give the tenant notice and seven days to vacate unless the rental agreement is met. During that week, the tenant can pay the rent and the landlord is legally not allowed to pursue an eviction.

Legal Services Alabama, Statewide, 866-456-4995

Montgomery — 5.82%

Gadsden — 5.53%

Hueytown — 3.76%

Tillman’s Corner — 3.76%

Mobile — 3.66%

Arizona

In Arizona, where Rovinsky hears cases, tenants have five days’ notice ahead of being evicted. But there are three ways to fight an eviction in this state: Pay the rent in full within the five days; pay the rent in full and cover any applicable late fees after five days; or, before a final judgment, pay the rent, late fees and any court costs.

Drexel Heights — 6.15%

Tucson — 6.03%

Casas Adobes — 2.91%

Marana — 2.53%

Catalina Foothills — 1.99%

Arkansas

In Arkansas, landlords have two ways to evict you from your rental: a civil lawsuit or a criminal charge. If they pursue the former, they have to give you a three-day written notice that they will be suing you for “unlawful detainer” if you don’t vacate the property. After you receive a court summons, you have five days to object to the eviction.

In the case of a criminal charge, they will give you a 10-day notice of failure to vacate. If you don’t leave in 10 days, you’ll be charged with a misdemeanor and could be fined up to $ 25 for each additional day you stay.

Legal Aid of Arkansas, Jonesboro, 800-967-9224

Center for Arkansas Legal Services, Little Rock, 501-376-3423

Legal Aid of Arkansas, Statewide, 800-952-9243

Jacksonville — 1.99%

Marion — 1.96%

West Memphis — 1.85%

Little Rock — 1.76%

North Little Rock — 1.68%*

*These are eviction filings as opposed to actual evictions.

California

California law requires landlords to provide a three-day notice to vacate. If a tenant doesn’t pay rent within those three days, the landlord can file an eviction.

Bay Area Legal Aid, Oakland, 510-663-4755

Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, 323-801-7991

Hemet — 5.08%

Moreno Valley — 4.81%

Perris — 3.31%

Arden-Arcade — 2.97%

Rancho Cordova — 2.86%

Colorado

Like California, Colorado also provides a three-day window before landlords can move to evict a tenant. But in this state, if you pay rent within that three-day period, the landlord can’t proceed with the eviction. If the tenants move out within three days, they are still liable for rent, and if the security deposit doesn’t cover the amount owed, the landlord may sue the tenant for the difference.

Colorado Affordable Legal Services, Denver, 303-996-0010

Northglenn — 6.24%

Aurora — 5.52%

Welby — 5.4%

Sherrelwood — 5.16%

Thornton — 4.64%

Connecticut

Connecticut has one of the more lenient nonpayment-of-rent laws, with the tenant given a nine-day period before the landlord can begin pursuing an eviction. But after that time frame, the landlord can give a three-day notification to move out of the rental.

Then, as in other states, a judge will weigh both sides during an eviction hearing if the tenant wants to challenge the eviction.

Connecticut Fair Housing Center, Hartford, 860-247-4400

Connecticut Legal Services, Middletown, 860-344-0447

Waterbury — 6.1%

Hartford — 5.73%

Bridgeport — 5.03%

New Britain — 4.68%

Meriden — 4.45%

Delaware

Tenants in Delaware have five days after the missed rent period to pay their landlord (once served with a notice to pay). If they don’t pay in that time frame, they will have to either fight the eviction in court or vacate the premises.

Legal Services Corporation of Delaware, Wilmington, 302-734-8820; 302-575-0408

Delaware Legal Help Link, Statewide, 302-478-8850

Wilmington — 7.62%

Glasgow — 7.05%

Dover — 6.94%

Bear — 6.04%

Brookside — 4.29%

Washington DC

In Washington, D.C., a landlord has to provide a 30-day window for the renter to pay rent in full with an official notice. But this is sometimes waived in rental agreements.

If a judge rules in favor of the landlord, the tenant has three days before removal from the property. D.C. is also a “pay-and-stay” jurisdiction, where tenants have until U.S. Marshals remove them from the rental to pay the rent and associated late fees.

D.C. Tenants’ Rights Center, Washington, 202-681-6871

Howard University School of Law Fair Housing Clinic, Washington, 202-806-8082

Districtwide — 2.59%

Florida

In the Sunshine State, a landlord must send an official three-day notice for the tenant to pay rent. If the tenant pays within three business days of receiving the notice, the landlord cannot legally proceed with an eviction. But, if you fail to pay rent within those three days, you will be served with a summons and have five days to respond to the eviction lawsuit

Florida Housing Coalition, Tallahassee, 850-878-4219

Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, 904-356-8371

Lauderhill — 7%

Pine Hills — 5.88%

Jacksonville — 5.34%

University (Tampa area)  — 5.26%

Miramar — 4.65%

Georgia

Landlords in Georgia do not have to wait between notifying tenants about missing rent and filing an eviction notice. So once tenants receive a notice, they may end up in eviction court right away.

Also, Georgia law doesn’t require a written eviction notice, so a landlord can verbally serve an eviction notice. But Georgia law does allow the tenant to pay without penalty the owed rent within seven days after receiving a court summons.

Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation, 404-521-0790

Georgia Legal Services Program, Atlanta, 404-206-5175

Redan — 13.99%

Union City — 11.67%

East Point — 11.3%

Candler-McAfee — 11.17%

Warner Robins — 10.69%

Hawaii

Landlords in Hawaii must provide tenants with a written five-day notice before pursuing an eviction.

Hawaii Fair Housing Enforcement Program at Legal Aid Society of Hawaii, Honolulu, 808-536-4302

Hilo — 0.51%

Kihei — 0.41%

Kahului — 0.26%

Idaho

Idaho law also requires a written three-day notice be provided to the tenant before proceeding with the eviction process. A tenant can pay rent within that window to stop the eviction proceedings.

Also, Idaho law allows tenants to withhold rent to request repairs..

Idaho Legal Aid Services, Boise, 208-336-8980

Nampa — 1.31%

Post Falls — 1.29%

Burley — 1.2%

Caldwell — 1.18%

Twin Falls — 1.16%

Illinois

Illinois law calls for a five-day notice before a tenant can be sued for eviction. If the tenant pays rent in that time frame, the landlord can’t pursue an eviction.

Illinois Tenants Union, Chicago, 773-478-1133

Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Family Services, Chicago, 312-986-4000

Matteson — 5.92%

Crest Hill — 5.5%

Kankakee — 5.35%

East St. Louis — 5.27%

Bolingbrook — 4.67%

Indiana

Indiana may have a high eviction rate compared with the rest of the country, but it does have a more lenient landlord-tenant law, at least when it comes to the notice. Landlords are required to provide a 10-day written notice before filing suit, during which time the tenant can pay back rent.

Indiana Legal Services, Statewide, 844-243-8570; Bloomington office, 812-339-7668 or 800-822-4774

Indiana University Bloomington Tenant Assistant Project

Griffith — 11.27%

Marion — 8.52%

Elkhart — 8.50%

Auburn — 8.06%

Kokomo — 7.95%

Iowa

Iowa landlords are required to give tenants a three-day window to pay the owed rent before filing an eviction lawsuit. If the tenant pays rent during that time frame, the landlord can’t sue for eviction.

Iowa Legal Aid, Statewide, 800-532-1275

Waterloo — 5.73%

Davenport — 4.72%

Clinton — 4.02%

Ottumwa — 3.72%

Council Bluffs — 3.49%

Kansas

In Kansas, landlords must provide a three-day notice for tenancies that have lasted less than three months and a 10-day notice for those that have been in place longer.

Kansas Legal Services, Topeka, 800-723-6953

Edwardsville — 7.68%

Park City — 6.88%

Kansas City  — 5.60%

Bonner Springs — 4.86%

Wichita — 4.44%

Kentucky

In Kentucky, tenants are given a seven-day window to pay rent before a landlord can pursue eviction. But like most states, a tenant can fight the eviction in court if the landlord did not hold up his or her end of the lease agreement.

Legal Aid of the Bluegrass, Lexington, 859-431-8200

Kentucky Legal Aid, Western Kentucky, 866-452-9243

Legal Aid Society, Louisville, 502-584-1254

Shively — 5.45%

Franklin — 4.84%

Louisville — 4.82%

Lexington-Fayette — 4.59%

Campbellsville — 4.48%

Louisiana

Louisiana law calls for a five-day notice before a landlord can file an eviction lawsuit. However, that five days is only a grace period to vacate; the state does not allow the tenant to pay rent and avoid eviction.

Legal Services of North Louisiana, Shreveport, 318-222-7186

Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, Baton Rouge, 225-448-0331; Hammond, 985-345-2130; Covington, 985-893-0076

Woodmere — 7.23%

Baton Rouge — 6.45%

Slidell — 5.49%

Baker — 5.13%

Marrero — 4.30%

Maine

In Maine, a tenant must fall seven days behind in rent before a landlord can issue a notice of eviction. After that, a tenant has seven days to pay rent to stop the eviction proceedings.

Pine Tree Legal Assistance, Portland, 207-774-8211

Waterville — 5.25%

Lewiston — 4.79%

Sanford — 4.68%

Augusta — 4.28%

Biddeford — 4.25%

Maryland

Maryland is one state that has no notification period for landlords who want to evict a tenant. Technically, they can sue a tenant for eviction the day after they serve the resident with a notice.

Still, if tenants pay rent, late fees and court costs on or before the day of the hearing, they can avoid eviction.

Public Justice Center, Baltimore, 410-625-9409

Maryland Legal Aid, Baltimore, 410-951-7777

South Laurel — 7.14%

Chillum — 3.37%

Bowie — 1.93%

Laurel — 1.88%

College Park — 1.50%

Massachusetts

To avoid being sued for eviction, tenants in Massachusetts have a 14-day period to pay rent or vacate their rental after a landlord serves legal papers.

Alliance of Cambridge Tenants, 617-499-7031

Quincy Community Action Programs, 617-479-818, ext. 4

Haverhill — 2.93%

Lynn — 2.75%

Weymouth — 2.71%

Brockton — 2.69%

Framingham — 2.53%

Michigan

Michigan-based landlords must serve a written seven-day notice before they can file to evict a tenant. The tenant can pay the owed rent within that window to remain in the rental, however.

Lakeshore Legal Aid, Statewide, 888-783-8190

Michigan Poverty Law Program, Ann Arbor, 734-998-6100

Muskegon — 10.91%

Saginaw — 10.54%

Battle Creek — 9.98%

Dearborn Heights — 9.82%

Jackson — 9.71%

Minnesota

In Minnesota, landlords aren’t required to give any notice before pursuing an eviction unless the tenant is “at will” — meaning under an informal, usually month-to-month lease. In that case, a landlord must provide a 14-day notice to vacate before suing for eviction.

Home Line, Minneapolis, 866-866-3546

Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, St. Paul, 888-575-2954

East Bethel — 2.59%

Brooklyn Park — 1.86%

Brooklyn Center — 1.44%

Moorhead — 1.38%

Ramsey — 1.23%

Mississippi

Mississippi law requires a three-day notice to pay rent before a landlord can file an eviction lawsuit against a tenant for nonpayment.

Mission First Legal Aid, Jackson, 601-608-0050, ext. 2

Mississippi Center for Legal Services, Statewide, 800-498-1804

Horn Lake — 11.90%

Gulfport — 9.68%

Pascagoula — 9.38%

Jackson — 8.75%

Southaven — 7.86%

Missouri

Unlike most states, Missouri doesn’t have a specific time requirement for a landlord to demand rent before filing an eviction. However, most legal sites do recommend that landlords give at least three days’ notice.

Arch City Defenders, St. Louis, 855-724-2489

Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, St. Louis, 314-534-4200 or 800-444-0514

Spanish Lake — 14.33%

Old Jamestown — 12.76%

Bellefontaine Neighbors — 11.51%

Berkeley — 9.13%

Murphy — 8.75%

Montana

In Montana, a a tenant has three days to pay rent upon being served with a notice of late payment by the landlord.

Montana Legal Services Association, Statewide, 800-666-6899

Evergreen — 3.69%

Lockwood  — 2.02%

Hardin — 1.92%

Butte-Silver Bow — 1.86%

Great Falls — 1.81%

Nebraska

In Nebraska, a landlord must serve a three-day notice to a tenant who is late on rent. The renter can avoid eviction by paying within that three-day window.

Legal Aid of Nebraska, Statewide, 877-250-2016

Plattsmouth — 4.79%

Omaha — 3.87%

Waverly — 3.24%

Chalco — 2.68%

Bellevue — 2.63%

Nevada

Nevada state statutes require landlords to serve a tenant with a five-day notice to pay rent before proceeding with an eviction. If the tenant pays rent in that window, the landlord can’t pursue the eviction.

Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, Las Vegas, 702-386-1070

Nevada Legal Services, Las Vegas, 702-386-0404; Reno, 775-284-3491 or 800-323-8666

Whitney — 6.82%

North Las Vegas — 5.82%

Sunrise Manor — 5.31%

Winchester — 5.15%

Paradise — 4.33%

New Hampshire

New Hampshire law provides a one-week time frame for a tenant to pay rent to avoid eviction. This seven-day period begins when the landlord serves the tenant with a written notice, and tenants can pay rent in full plus $ 15 during that period.

New Hampshire Legal Aid, Statewide, 800-639-5290

(No data on percentage of evictions available.)

New Jersey

New Jersey law doesn’t require a landlord to give a tenant a window to pay rent that is owed, so a tenant may face an eviction lawsuit immediately after failing to pay rent.

New Jersey Tenants Organization, Fort Lee, 201-342-3775

Fair Share Housing Center, Cherry Hill, 856-665-5444

South Plainfield — 0.07%

Newark — 0.05%

Westfield — 0.04%

Clifton — 0.03%

East Orange — 0.03%

New Mexico

New Mexico law requires landlords to serve tenants with a three-day notice to pay rent before pursuing an eviction.

New Mexico Legal Aid, Statewide, 833-545-4357

Albuquerque — 4.72%

Clovis — 3.58%

Roswell — 3.53%

South Valley — 3.10%

Grants — 2.93%

New York

New York landlords must give tenants three days to pay rent before pursuing an eviction. If the renter pays within that window, the landlord can’t sue for eviction.

Legal Services NYC, New York, 917-661-4500

Legal Services of Central New York, Syracuse, 877-777-6152

Poughkeepsie — 2.76%

Auburn — 1.74%

New York — 1.615 (Bronx, 6.23%, Brooklyn, 1.28%, Staten Island, 3.42%)

Watertown — 1.45%

Middletown — 0.95%

North Carolina

If a tenant is late paying rent in North Carolina, the landlord must serve a written notice that gives the renter 10 days to pay before filing an eviction. If the tenant pays within that window, the landlord can’t proceed with the eviction.

Pisgah Legal Services, Statewide, 828-253-0406, 800-489-6144

Graham — 11.14%

Kinston — 10.24%

Shelby — 9.10%

Henderson — 9.08%

Wilson — 8.60%

North Dakota

In North Dakota, a landlord must provide the tenant a three-day notice of eviction, and it must be served by a process server or deputy.

Ohio

In Ohio, the landlord must give a tenant a three-day notice before suing for eviction. However, unlike in other states, the landlord is not obligated to accept a rent payment during that period or halt the eviction process.

Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati, 513-241-9400, 800-582-2682

Legal Aid Society of Cleveland Tenant Information Line, Cleveland, 216-861-5955. (For legal help, dial 216-687-1900 or 888-817-3777.)

Legal Aid Society of Columbus, 614-241-2001

East Cleveland — 8.87%

Middletown — 8.41%

Canton — 8.34%

Euclid — 7.93%

Trotwood — 7.72%

Oklahoma

Oklahoma law requires a landlord to serve the tenant with a five-day notice to pay rent before pursuing an eviction.

Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, 405-521-1302

Neighbor for Neighbor, Tulsa, 918-425-5578

Tulsa — 7.77%

Del City — 7.32%

Midwest City — 6.63%

Durant — 6.46%

Oklahoma City — 6.19%

Oregon

Oregon has a more lenient law for nonpayment of rent, with a landlord required to wait eight days before serving the tenant with a notice of eviction. Then, the tenant has three days to pay rent or face an eviction lawsuit.

But the landlord has another option: Serve a six-day notice to pay rent on the fifth day after rent is due. Both give 11 days for a tenant to catch up on rent.

Legal Aid Services of Oregon, Portland, 503-224-4086

Portland Tenants United, 503-836-7881

Gresham — 2%

Springfield — 1.86%

Hayesville — 1.65%

Medford — 1.62%

Salem — 1.62%

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania law requires a landlord to give a 10-day notice of eviction to the tenant, who can pay during that period and avoid eviction.

Regional Housing Legal Services, Glenside, 215-572-7300

Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, 215-981-3700

Glenolden — 10.03%

Folcroft — 6.99%

Brookhaven — 6.91%

Reading — 6.22%

Uniontown — 4.29%

Rhode Island

In Rhode Island, tenants have 15 days to pay rent after the due date before a landlord can serve them with a five-day notice to pay. If the renters don’t pay in those five days, the owner can pursue an eviction.

Rhode Island Legal Services, Providence, 401-274-2652

Providence — 3.82%

Cranston — 2.63%

Warwick — 2.44%

South Carolina

South Carolina law requires the landlord to serve a five-day written notice when the tenant is late with rent before filing an eviction lawsuit. However, the landlord can file suit without notice if the following language is in the lease agreement:

“IF YOU DO NOT PAY YOUR RENT ON TIME. This is your notice. If you do not pay your rent within five days of the due date, the landlord can start to have you evicted. You will get no other notice as long as you live in this rental unit.”

South Carolina Legal Services, Statewide, 888-346-5592

Ladson — 24.00%

St. Andrews — 20.66%

Dentsville — 19.01%

Hanahan — 17.84%

Florence — 16.65%

South Dakota

South Dakota law gives tenants three days to pay rent after it is due. The landlord can serve a three-day notice and file an eviction lawsuit if the rent isn’t paid in that window.

Dakota Plains Legal Services, Mission, 605-856-4444, 800-658-2297

East River Legal Services, Sioux Falls, 800-952-3015

Summerset — 1.9%

Brandon — 1.28%

Box Elder — 1.26%

Harrisburg — 1.09%

Rapid Valley — 1.09%*

* These are eviction filings as opposed to actual evictions.

Tennessee

In Tennessee, landlords must serve a 14-day notice to pay rent once the tenant is late. If the rent remains unpaid, then the owner can sue for eviction.

Memphis Area Legal Services, 901-523-8822

West Tennessee Legal Services, 17 counties, 731-423-0616 or 800-372-8346

Memphis — 4.89%

Athens — 4.13%

Clarksville — 3.90%

Cleveland — 3.51%

Nashville-Davidson — 3.42%

Texas

Texas is another state that requires a three-day notices before the landlord can file for eviction.

Austin Tenants Council, 512-474-1961

Lone Star Legal Aid, Houston, 800-733-8394

Killeen — 7.67%

White Settlement — 6.39%

Dickinson — 6.23%

Texas City — 5.98%

Fresno — 5.62%

Utah

Utah law requires a landlord to give the tenant a three-day notice before suing for eviction.

Utah Legal Services, Salt Lake City, 801-328-8891 (in Salt Lake County), 800-662-4245 (outside Salt Lake County)

Murray — 2.31%

West Valley City — 2.26%

Taylorsville — 1.97%

Midvale — 1.82%

Magna — 1.79%

Vermont

Vermont is another state with lenient laws regarding nonpayment of rent. When a tenant is overdue on rent, the landlord must issue a 14-day notice to pay before filing an eviction lawsuit.

Vermont Legal Aid, Statewide, 800-889-2047

Barre — 0.23

Montpelier — 0.11

St. Johnsbury — 0.08

St. Albans — 0.06

Virginia

In Virginia, landlords must issue a five-day notice to pay rent before starting eviction proceedings against a tenant.

Northern Virginia Affordable Housing Alliance, Northern Virginia, 571-572-2238

Legal Aid Justice Center, Charlottesville, 434-529-1849

Central Virginia Legal Aid Society, 21 counties and municipalities, 800-868-1012

Petersburg — 17.56%

Hopewell — 15.69%

Portsmouth — 15.07%

Richmond — 11.44%

Hampton — 10.49%

Washington

Washington requires a  landlord to issue a three-day notice to pay rent before suing a tenant for eviction.

Fair Housing Center of Washington, Tacoma, 253-274-9523

Everett — 2.06%

Parkland — 1.99%

Lakewood — 1.89%

Longview — 1.74%

Spokane — 1.66%

West Virginia

West Virginia laws allow landlords to immediately terminate a lease and file an eviction lawsuit as soon as the tenant fails to pay rent on time.

Legal Aid of West Virginia, Statewide, 866-255-4370

Martinsburg — 10.22%

Ranson — 8.09%

Westover — 7.83%

Elkins — 7.14%

Beckley — 5.75%

Wisconsin

A landlord has two options for evicting a tenant for failure to pay rent. The owner can issue a five-day notice, in which time the tenant can pay up to avoid eviction. Or the owner can issue a 14-day notice to vacate, in which the tenant has no choice but to move out or face eviction.

Legal Action of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, 414-278-7722

Tenant Resource Center, Madison, 608-257-0006 ext. 5

Racine — 5.56%

Beloit — 4.34%

Milwaukee — 4.25%

Kenosha — 3.89%

Janesville — 3.39%

Wyoming

Wyoming-based landlords must provide a three-day notice to tenants before pursuing an eviction lawsuit.

Legal Aid of Wyoming, Statewide, 877-432-9955

Casper — 1.76%

Riverton — 0.91%

Lander — 0.85%

Rock Springs — 0.80%

Evanston — 0.78%

Alex Mahadevan is a data journalist at The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Tesla’s home solar system price cut can save you up to $5,000

Tesla just lowered the price on its solar shingles and other whole house solar components by up to 25% in an effort to boost sales of its under-performing home solar system.

RELATED: Free electricity: Yes, it’s for real and here’s how you could get it!

Tesla’s move will save homeowners between $ 3,000 and $ 5,000

Tesla has confirmed to Reuters that it’s now slashing installation costs on its home solar systems after sales of the systems have trailed off.

A company executive told the news agency that any residential customer getting a quote after November 15, 2018 will realize an average savings of between $ 3,000 and $ 5,000 on material and installations costs versus prior quotes.

Tesla has struggled with its solar installation business since its 2016 acquisition of Solar City, which was then the largest residential solar installer in the country.

A year later, Tesla began accepting orders for its solar roofing shingles, which look like this:

Textured
Smooth
Tuscan
Slate

But despite a lot of buzz around the shingles and Tesla’s residential solar initiative, it didn’t get off the ground in quite the way the company had hoped.

Installations have fallen from 200 megawatts (MW) a quarter in early 2016 when Solar City was at its peak to less than half of that — just 93 MW — in the third quarter 2018, according to Reuters.

Adding to the woes is the fact that Tesla tinkered extensively with Solar City’s successful sales model, which relied heavily on door-to-door canvassing in solar-friendly states, among other proven approaches.

Meanwhile, Tesla also terminated a retail relationship with Home Depot in 2017. That means the all-electric automaker could no longer demo its whole house solar approach at some 800 stores across the country.

Tesla executives now hope a lower price on its solar systems will bring in more customers.

You can request your new, lower quote here.

More real estate stories on Clark.com

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Conversion ‘therapy’ begins at home

A new study finds that attempts by parents and religious leaders or therapists to change the sexual orientation of LGBT adolescents (‘conversion therapy’) contribute to multiple health and adjustment problems in young adulthood. These include higher levels of depression and suicidal behavior, as well as lower levels of self-esteem, social support and life satisfaction, and lower levels of education and income in young adulthood.
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Real estate auctions, once used for foreclosures and distressed sellers, is now moving upmarket. The number of multimillion-dollar homes being sold at auction has nearly doubled in the past year.
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Next 3 Major Family Movies: ‘A Dog’s Way Home,’ ‘The Kid Who Would Be King,’ ‘Dumbo’

Next 3 Major Family Movies: 'A Dog's Way Home,' 'The Kid Who Would Be King,' 'Dumbo'

A cheerful comedy about a grouchy creature who doesn't like Christmas, Dr. Seuss' The Grinch, opened over the weekend to grand success. Benedict Cumberbatch, who portrays the titular character with gruff yet winsome authority, leads the voice cast in the animated holiday adventure, joined by Rashida Jones, Kenan Thompson, Angela Lansbury and Pharrell Williams.

Dr. Seuss' The Grinch is ideal for families. More family films are coming soon to theaters, including Ralph Breaks the…

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Kim Kardashian Provides Update As California Wildfires Force Her To Evacuate, Destroy Caitlyn’s Home

Malibu is on fire and that includes areas of Calabasas and Hidden Hills where many homes of celebrities are in danger. Kim Kardashian announced Thursday night she needed to evacuate and on Friday, it was reported that Caitlyn Jenner’s Malibu home burned to the ground. Kim Kardashian shared an update after she and her sisters shared their fears regarding the fires and posted status updates indicating they were praying.

Kim Kardashian tweeted the following.

“I heard the flames have hit our property at our home in Hidden Hills but now are more contained and have stopped at the moment. It doesn’t seems like it is getting worse right now, I just pray the winds are in our favor. God is good. I’m just praying everyone is safe.” 🙏🏼

According to authorities, things haven’t been getting better and the Woolsey Fire has grown in size. There are reports that certain areas fire hydrants have run out of water and a state of emergency has been declared in several counties including Los Angeles, County.

The latest news says that winds have died down but are expected to pick up again on Sunday.

Kim Kardashian also shared a photo of herself with her niece and again reiterated just how stressful the California wildfires are.

A number of celebrities have shared their anxiety regarding the California fires on social media platforms. While Hollywood celebrities have the resources to make last-minute evacuation plans, not everyone in California can get out as quickly as needed.

Actor James Woods used his personal Twitter account on Thursday, at the beginning of the fires, to try and connect those looking for loved ones.

He created two hashtags: SoCalFiresJamesWoods and CampFireJamesWoods so those who need information or are looking for people can use the hashtag and share, retweet, and look for their missing friends and family members.

The hashtag campaign has been a success with many people and animals being marked as found.

The California wildfires are in the early stages and some experts have suggested they may burn for more than one week straight. Those who would like to help others in harms way may contact the Red Cross to make a donation.

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The Nigerian Mona Lisa, a painting lost for more than 40 years and found in a London flat in February, is being exhibited in Nigeria for the first time since it disappeared.


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Ready to Buy a Home? 6 Simple Steps to Save for the Down Payment

So you’re ready to stop renting, and we don’t blame you.

The price of rent has been steadily increasing since 2014, according to a recent Penny Hoarder analysis of Zillow data. As of October 2018, the median Zillow listing nationally for a two-bedroom rental is $ 1,646 a month.

Your other option is to buy a home, and that isn’t cheap, either. It’s a big commitment — but at least you’re gaining an asset and not funneling your whole paycheck over to a landlord.

If you’re thinking about buying a home, you’ll want to start saving for that down payment sooner than later.

Yes, it’s a big savings goal, but this guide will help you get on the right track.

Real Fast: What’s a Down Payment?

A down payment is the amount of money you pay upfront for your home — the money you’re putting down. Say you want to put 10% down on a $ 200,000 home; your down payment will be about $ 20,000.

This down payment goes directly toward you owning your home outright. What’s remaining will be covered by a mortgage loan. Like other forms of debt, you’re responsible for making monthly payments on that loan, which often include interest.

The more you’re able to put toward a down payment on a home, the lower your monthly mortgage rates — and the less you’ll pay in interest over time.

Pro tip: While you’re saving for a down payment, work to improve or maintain your credit score. The higher your credit score, the better chance you have to secure a mortgage with a low interest rate. If you’re not sure where to start, Credit Sesame is a free platform that allows you to see your credit score, credit report card and personalized advice.

How to Save for a Down Payment: Your Step-by-Step Guide

A down payment is different from any expense you’ve saved for before, including a car or a vacation.

“A down payment represents a ‘purchase’ that has longer-term consequences,” says Marc W. Lieberman, CFA charterholder and CEO of Shorepine Wealth Management.

“When you save for a vacation or a new TV, you are making a one-time purchase that likely does not have additional spending needs. A home is a purchase that requires constant maintenance and the financial wherewithal to maintain ownership.”

So how do you even start saving for such a big financial goal? Follow these six simple steps to start saving for what’ll likely be the largest purchase of your life.

No big deal or anything.

1. Determine How Much You Need to Save for a Down Payment

Woman doing finances
lamstocker/Getty Images

Before starting your savings journey, you’ll need to map out your goal. Here are some numbers to consider:

  • Generally speaking, what’s your budget for a new home? In your desired city and neighborhood, take a look at properties you’d be interested in and that meet your needs. To determine the maximum mortgage payment you can afford each month, personal finance guru Dave Ramsey suggests multiplying your monthly take-home pay by 25% (0.25).
  • How much money do you want to put down? Now that you have an idea of how much you want (or need) to spend on a home, consider how much you want to put down. Putting down 3% is considered low — but doable.

On the other hand, if you’re able to put down at least 20%, you’ll avoid making monthly payments for private mortgage insurance (PMI), which is generally 0.3% to 1.2% of your loan amount, according to Investopedia.

Don’t feel like you have to stretch yourself to pay 20% down, though. Say you take out a 10% down payment. Once you’ve made enough mortgage payments to hit 20% equity, you can cancel your PMI.

  • When do you want to make the big purchase? Set your timeline.

Remember: Buying a home doesn’t simply require a down payment. You’ll also need to consider closing costs, real estate agent commission, property taxes and homeowners insurance — just to name a few. You can find more details about closing costs in our first-time homebuyer’s guide.

Lieberman also suggests tacking on a 10% to 20% “slush fund” to your savings goal for any additional expenses. This can help cover any unforeseen maintenance required when first moving in. Even if you don’t need it (fingers crossed you won’t), it’s nice to have that just-in-case cushion.

Now, do some math. Calculate how much you’ll need to save each month — or week, if you prefer working on a smaller scale.

Using a mortgage calculator like this one from Zillow can be super helpful when playing around with these numbers.

2. Open a Separate Savings Account

A family at the bank
Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

Once you know how much you need to put away, start considering where you want to keep this savings. Keeping such a large chunk of money in your primary checking account is risky — just because it feels like that money’s at your fingertips, ready to spend.

Instead, open a separate, hands-off account. Lieberman suggests a high-yield-interest savings account.

Try an iOS app called Varo Money. Pair your Bank Account with a Varo Savings Account where you’ll earn 1.75% annual percentage yield. For context, one of my banks offers a savings account with an APY closer to 0.03%.

Additionally, you’ll pay no monthly service fees, no minimum balance fees, no foreign transaction fees and no cash replacement fees.

Lieberman also suggests looking into a laddered certificate of deposit (CD) portfolio.

Whatever you choose, remember this: You want your money to earn some interest, but you don’t want the risk (like you’d face with investing). You’ll also want to keep the money in an easily accessible account.

“The last thing you need is to miss out on a home because the cash wasn’t available for the down payment,” Lieberman says.

3. Adjust Your Budget

A father and son eating fast food
Kosamtu/Getty Images

Now that you know how much you need to save and where you’re going to stash that savings, it’s time to adjust your budget.

Take that monthly savings goal and build it into your budget as an expense. To make some room, you’ll likely have to cut down in other areas.

To get an idea of how you can tighten your budget, try using the free app Empower.

Link the app to your bank accounts, and Empower will track your spending. It will also categorize your spending so you can see exactly where you’re overdoing it.

Set a monthly spending limit and the app will show you a graph that can tell you in one snapshot just how you’re doing for the month. Are you over the line or under it? It’s that simple to see how you’re doing so you can adjust your spending accordingly.

It’ll take some finagling at first, but be patient — and realistic. Remember you’re saving for what’ll likely be the biggest purchase of your life, so it isn’t going to be totally effortless. 

4. Automate Your Savings

Woman looking at credit cards
Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

Now that you know you can afford to save these monthly sums, it’s time to automate your savings. This helps hold you accountable and makes the process easier and more hands-off.

“Automated savings is a wonderful way to trick your mind into living off of less,” Lieberman says. “It is amazing how much less one can live off of without even noticing the difference.”

If you’re using a savings account, set your paycheck to automatically deposit a certain amount (see Step 1) into that account.

The easiest way to do this is to adjust your payroll settings or see whether your bank will automatically do it for you — most do.

With Chime, for example, you can opt in to save a portion of each paycheck when you set up direct deposit. You can also turn on its round-up feature, which rounds up all your Chime debit card transactions to the nearest dollar. It’ll dump the digital spare change into your savings — a nice bonus.

You can also tap into an app. Digit is a great way to save toward a specific goal. Set your timeline and savings goal, and Digit’s algorithms will determine how much money you can afford to save, which will be stored in an FDIC-insured savings account.

Digit is free to use for the first 30 days, then it’s $ 2.99 per month afterward. If you’re saving for a big purchase, like your first home, that monthly fee could be worth it.

In all, automation is a great, hands-off way to keep building your savings — without obsessing over every penny.

5. Get Creative, and Cut Your Monthly Bills

Light bulbs hanging from ceiling
ArisSu/Getty Images

Outside of rent, your largest expenses are probably those monthly bills: electric, water, cable/internet, car insurance, student loan payments — you name it.

There are a number of ways to save on your monthly bills, but here’s a simple one to get you started: Download TrueBill, an app that’ll negotiate your bills, cancel unwanted subscriptions and refund your bank fees.

After downloading the app, create an account, and link your bank account and/or credit cards. Turn on the bill negotiation and outage protection features. Boom. TrueBill is already searching for potential refunds — it might get you a refund even when you didn’t know an outage occurred.

On average, Truebill says it helps customers save more than $ 700 a year by lowering their bills, canceling necessary subscriptions and getting refunds.

6. Increase Your Income

Dog walker
hedgehog94/Getty Images

If you’re still struggling to meet your monthly savings goal, you might need to boost your income.

Luckily, there are a ton of platforms that’ll help you start up a side gig, including one of our favorites: Rover. (Because dogs, duh.)

On Rover you can choose to offer a variety of services, including dog walking, overnight boarding at your home or theirs, and daycare. Rover says sitters can earn as much as $ 1,000 a month — just for snugglin’ pups!

Other flexible side gig options include driving with Uber or listing your space on Airbnb.

You should also plan to bank any windfalls — big or small. If you get a raise at work, automatically dispense the difference into your savings. If you earn a holiday bonus, bank that, too.

You can work to sell off some items you don’t need, too. After all, you’ll be moving soon.

If you have an old smartphone, tablet or laptop collecting dust, snag a a buy-back price estimate from an online trade-in platform like Gazelle. For anything else, consider Letgo. You can list just about anything on there — from cars to clothes.

Moral of the story? Slide any extra money you make into that separate hands-of savings account to go toward your savings goal.

Another Option: Seek Down Payment Assistance

If you’ve followed these steps and are still struggling to save for a down payment — or don’t have enough time — look into down payment assistance programs in your city or state.

John R. Thomas, a certified mortgage planner and the Delaware branch manager of Primary Residential Mortgage, outlined a few nationwide assistance programs:

  • Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans are government-backed mortgages for those who can’t afford to put a lot of money down. They’re a popular option for first-time homebuyers. In 2018, borrowers with a credit score of at least 580 could put down 3.5%, according to the FHA website.
  • If you’re a veteran, current servicemember or surviving spouse, you might qualify for a VA home loan, which offers competitive interest rates without a down payment or private mortgage insurance.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) also offers a no-down payment option if you purchase a qualified home and borrow from a qualified lender. Although it caters to those purchasing a home in a rural area, the definition of rural is pretty broad. Be sure to read into the requirements.

Thomas assures prospective homebuyers that these programs are simple to look into in any state.

In the end, know that buying a home isn’t totally out of reach. Just be patient with yourself, and you’ll be able to put the money away.

Carson Kohler (carson@thepennyhoarder.com) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’d love to buy her first home sweet home… one of these days.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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11.6.18 International airfares to increase; Eliminating home internet with your cell phone plan

Some of the discount international airlines are in financial trouble. This could lead to increasing airfare prices when traveling overseas; Sprint has a cell phone plan that could help you eliminate the need for at-home internet. 

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Breaking: Angela Simmons’ Ex-Fiancé, Sutton Tennyson, Shot and Killed in His Home

Sad news, love muffins.

Angela Simmons’ baby daddy and ex-fiancé Sutton Tennyson was shot and killed at his home earlier today, according to The Shade Room. No other details are available at this time.

Angela and Sutton split in December 2017 less than a year after getting engaged and welcoming their first child.

Prayers go out to both Angela & Sutton’s families.

Story developing…

The post Breaking: Angela Simmons’ Ex-Fiancé, Sutton Tennyson, Shot and Killed in His Home appeared first on lovebscott – celebrity news.

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Home flippers are fleeing the market as their profits shrink

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Investigators converge on suspect’s home

Investigators are trying to learn more about the alleged Pittsburgh synagogue shooter as federal agents converged on the apartment complex where Robert Bowers lived. CNN’s Miguel Marquez reports outside his home.


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How to make your home feel like a luxury hotel

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The experience of staying in hotel rooms is something that most travelers do not forget. There is something about the way hotel rooms are perfectly arranged which makes the experience incredibly comfortable. The beds in hotel rooms are often fluffier than any bed in usual homes, and the pillows are something you can really sink into. Every experience associated with staying in a hotel such as bathing, sleeping, relaxing in the living or drawing room, or just using the various utilities such as closets and switches, is customized in hotels to provide the perfect experience.

Travelers who stay at luxurious hotels often experience a shock when they get back to their homes. Re-adjusting to the disorganized and cluttered nature of your own home after staying in the perfected settings of a hotel can be quite disconcerting. Fortunately, there are ways to transform the living experience of your own home into that of a hotel. Mentioned below are some of the ways in which you can make your home feel like a luxury hotel.

Ensure a perfect bedroom

The most important aspect of ensuring a hotel-like environment is making sure that you have a top-notch bedroom. The size of the bed should be a king or queen sized base along with a plush mattress. Ditch the usual blankets for a duvet, and it’s always nice to have extra pillows. It is important to have good quality pillows that are neither too soft nor too hard.

Emulate the spa experience in your bathroom- This is all about customizing your bathroom in the best possible way with all the essential oils, lotions, and other kinds of cosmetics and bathing accessories. Your toiletries should be sorted well, preferably in under-sink cabinets. A decently sized bathtub is a must if you want your home to feel like a hotel. You can also choose to have a collection of scented candles that can help you set up the right atmosphere for relaxation.

It’s all about the vibe

Luxury is also a state of mind, so you have to make sure that the general vibe of the house feels to you like you are on vacation. If you are into something extra, Lighting some candles and putting soothing music might also do the trick for you.

Pay attention to the entrance of your homes

One of the first things that you notice when you enter a hotel is its glamorous lobby. It is usually decorated with flowers, orchids or paintings. It also often has a wide arrangement of showpieces and furniture. The same principle applies to your home. You should focus on decorating the entrance to your home along with placing exhibits of your choice at appropriate locations.

So we hope that we gave you some insights on how to make your home feel like a luxury hotel. Through careful planning and attention to detail, it is not difficult to establish the same environment of perfect living that is found at most luxury hotels in your home.

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The post How to make your home feel like a luxury hotel appeared first on Worldation.

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Mortgage Rates Are Rising. Here’s What That Means if You Want to Buy a Home

Earlier this year, mortgage rates hit a seven-year high, fueling speculation that it was time to buy if you were in the market for a new house.

But mortgage rates have continued to climb since then — up nearly a full percentage point this year to 4.85% in mid-October. And data from the National Association of Realtors suggests potential homebuyers may finally be feeling the pinch.

Existing home sales have fallen 4% since January, and the number of new homes under construction has dropped 10% during the same period.

So far, a monthly mortgage payment on a $ 250,000 home has gone up about $ 150, Freddie Mac Deputy Chief Economist Leonard Kiefer told The Penny Hoarder. “And that is quite substantial.”

And with the Fed likely to raise interest rates further in the coming year, it will just get pricier to take out a mortgage in 2019.

“Economists across the board are starting to forecast higher rates,” Kiefer said. And a lack of new housing just keeps pushing home prices up.

Still, there is some pent-up homebuying demand. The U.S. has one of the tightest labor markets in years, so the market might see modest growth in 2019, despite rate increases.

So if you are ready to make the leap from renting to buying, there are concrete ways to find savings.

Mortgage rates and housing prices vary across U.S. cities and lenders, Kiefer said. So if you are still planning to buy a home, make sure to do your research on the local market. Also, shop around for the lowest mortgage rate possible.

Getting one additional quote before locking in a rate and buying a home could save you $ 1,500 over the life of the loan, according to Freddie Mac.

Once you find the right rate, here are some other slick ways to save money on your mortgage.

Alex Mahadevan is a data journalist at The Penny Hoarder. He’s feeling the sting of regret for not shopping around for his mortgage.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.


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American Horror Story: Apocalypse Goes Home: Sarah Paulson Talks Directing the Return to the Murder House

American Horror Story: Apocalypse, Sarah PaulsonTonight, American Horror Story is going home.
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Cops to file criminal complaint over dead babies found in funeral home ceiling

DETROIT — Police in Detroit said they would file a criminal complaint against the owners after the remains of 10 fetuses and one infant were found hidden in a former funeral home that had lost its license when decomposing embalmed bodies were found there earlier this year. A criminal complaint will be opened against the…
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Beach home survives storm nearly untouched: ‘We intended to build it to survive’

The seaside community of Mexico Beach, Florida, was demolished by Hurricane Michael — but one family’s newly-built concrete home survived virtually untouched.
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‘Haunting of Hill House’ star’s own home was haunted

Henry Thomas doesn’t actually believe in ghosts. But the timing is right for the 47-year-old actor to share a real-life spooky story before Friday’s premiere of the Netflix series “The Haunting of Hill House,” in which he co-stars. When Thomas moved to LA about 12 years ago, his mother told him she saw a male…
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You Don’t Need a Green Thumb to Easily Grow These 5 Herbs at Home

If you’re anything like me, you love the smell and taste of fresh herbs but seem to kill every plant with the misfortune of living at your house. That’s why I tend to rely on dried herbs and freshly picked herbs when cooking for my family.

But dried herbs just aren’t the same as fresh, and I usually can’t get through an entire pack of freshly cut herbs so end up throwing them away. Since I hate waste and love food, I decided to look at the best way to grow herbs, and which herbs are the easiest to grow.

Plant Care 101

Before you start planting, you need to consider where you’re growing your herbs. The best way to keep them contained is to grow each herb in an individual pot. Growing them this way also allows you to put them outside for some sunlight on a nice day and bring them inside overnight or when it’s cold.

I spoke with Amy Enfield, consumer horticulturist with Scotts Miracle-Gro, to get some tips on growing herbs indoors.

Use the Right Pot

Some pots have solid bottoms, but for growing herbs you need to look for pots with drainage holes in the bottom to allow excess water to escape, Enfield says.

Location, Location, Location

Kaitlyn Blount poses with her herb seedlings at her home in Tampa, Fla.
Kaitlyn Blount is growing herb seedlings at her home in Tampa, Fla. She is trying to grow thyme, parsley, chives and dill. Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

If you put your herbs in the darkest corner of the kitchen and leave them to their own devices, they won’t do very well. “Indoor herb plants will require light, water, food and frequent trimming,” she says.

Instead, choose a window that faces south or southwest and gets at least six hours of sunlight. Create a reminder on your phone to check on them often to see if they need anything.

Don’t Overwater

Too little water can be fatal for a plant, but so can too much water .

“When the soil on the top looks dry, simply stick your finger an inch into the soil. If the soil is moist you can wait; if the soil is dry, it is time to water,” recommends Enfield.

Check the soil more often when the weather is hot and dry. This is one area where I fail at growing plants, so I recommend putting the herbs in a location where you’ll easily see them and be reminded to check them. Alternatively, you can write a note or create a reminder on your phone or computer.

Trim and Feed

“Frequent, light trimming of herbs every two to three weeks, regardless of whether you are using them for cooking, will keep your plants compact and growing new leaves,” says Enfield. She recommends never removing more than one-third of the plant at once, and waiting until your herbs measure six inches tall before harvesting them.

“Frequent trimming also keeps your herbs from flowering,” Enfield says. This means more leaves to use in recipes.

Herbs to Grow at Home

Certain types of herbs are easier to grow than others. Here are five simple herbs you can grow at home.

Basil

A woman harvests basil from a plant.
Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

Stan Miklis, farmer and degreed horticulturist with 40 years experience growing herbs, works at Caliper Farm to Table. One of his top recommendations for anyone to grow at home is basil.

“[Basil] is absolutely the best for the Italian kitchen and outdoor aroma,” he explains. “[It’s] easy to grow because any loose seedlings will reproduce new plants.”

Basil is typically used in pasta sauces and pizza, but can also be cut up in a salad for an extra pop of flavor, or infused in water with cucumber or strawberry for a refreshing summer drink.

Miklis also recommends Thai basil, which is a fragrant and tasty addition to your garden or kitchen.

“[Thai basil] makes a soothing tea called tulsi,” he says. All you need to grow this herb is soil and water. Additionally, Miklis explains that “a piece of stem placed in a jar of water will sprout new roots,” making it easy to grow new plants to share with friends and family.

Cuban Oregano

Tatyana Rodriguez, botanist and writer for Florence’s Flowers, recommends Cuban oregano as one of the easiest-to-grow herbs.

“Cuban oregano is a very hardy plant [that] likes warmer climates,” she explains. “It doesn’t require that much water [and] prefers full sun, but can also grow in the shade.”

This is one plant that is impossible to overwater. “They tend to grow faster if you keep the soil drenched [and] eventually will look like a bush,” says Rodriguez. You can also easily take a clipping of your Cuban oregano and use it to start a new plant.

Rodriguez mentions numerous health benefits of Cuban oregano, such as treating skin conditions, detoxifying the body, defending against the common cold, easing arthritis pain, stress relief and optimizing digestion.

Citronella

Another easy-to-grow herb recommended by Miklis is citronella. If you live anywhere that mosquitoes thrive, you’ve probably heard of this plant. It’s a main ingredient in mosquito-repellent candles and other remedies.

“[Citronella] grows outside when temperatures are favorable for mosquitoes,” explains Miklis. “[It’s] essential for outdoor living [and] easy to grow in low light.”

Mint

A woman harvests mint from a plant.
Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

Any gum-chewer knows that there are multiple types of mint, the most popular ones being spearmint and peppermint. Mint is also used in various recipes and is delicious infused in water with lemon (or in a mojito after a long day).

When it comes to growing mint at home, even the most challenged gardener shouldn’t have problems getting it to thrive.

“All [mint varieties] grow so vigorously that they may become problematic,” explains Miklis. “I suggest growing [each one] separately in an elevated container.”

Lemongrass

Sign with text Lemongrass in front of planted lemongrass plants
Tuomas_Lehtinen/Getty Images

One of my favorite flavors is lemongrass, especially in Thai dishes. According to Miklis, lemongrass is also a wonderful herb to grow at home.

“[Lemongrass] is a lovely, swaying, tall grass that also releases the essential oil that repels mosquitoes,” he says. “[It’s] easy to grow in a wide variety [of] soils with a lot of water and bright light.”

Growing your own herbs is much cheaper than buying them from the store and you’ll notice a difference in the flavor of fresh herbs over dried or cut ones. Start with these five suggestions and branch out to other herbs as your green thumb develops.

Catherine Hiles loves cooking and eating, so having fresh herbs at home is ideal. Of the herbs mentioned, her favorite is mint, which she loves mixed with lemon and infused in cold water.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.


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