According to Texas Lending, even the Lone Star State experiences extreme temperature fluctuations in the winter. Here are four simple and inexpensive upgrades to help balance the scales where energy efficiency is concerned.
- Insulation reevaluation
Insulation is the material that helps a home maintain its warmth in the winter. Texas Lending explains that if a home cools too quickly, it’s time to inspect the insulation. Most homes have a layer of loose fiberglass filling in the attic or overhead crawlspace. This can settle over time allowing warm air to escape.
- Diminish the drafts
Windows – especially wooden ones – expand and contract as the temperature changes. This can lead to cracks around their perimeter. Fortunately, this is an easy fix, says Texas Lending. All you need is a caulk gun and a couple of hours. Weather-stripping around doors is another inexpensive and simple way to deter drafty conditions.
If the New Year isn’t so new anymore and you’re slacking on those resolutions again, here’s some help from your friends at TexasLending.com. While we can’t do anything about your diet, our mortgage experts can offer advice on how to keep your financial New Year’s goals on track.
Q: What are some of the biggest mistakes people make when they decide to stick to a budget?
TexasLending.com: When we’re talking about New Year’s budgets, it’s mostly that people don’t plan ahead. It’s just kind of a generic resolution people make, like “getting in shape.”
Q: So, you are saying that people aren’t specific enough?
TexasLending.com: Exactly. When I make a broad statement like, “I am going to save money,” I don’t really have anything specific holding me to that. But if I think more in terms of, “I will quit drinking expensive coffee shop drinks and brew my own at home,” then I have something specific that if I start to do it, I will trigger a response to avoid spending that money. It really all boils down to making a detailed plan and sticking to it.
Are you constantly struggling to make ends meet? Do you feel like you never have enough money to really enjoy life? You may have more cash than you think. Here, TexasLending.com answers common questions about ways to save.
Q: How can I save money on my grocery bill?
TexasLending.com: For most of us, grocery shopping is a major monthly expense. Often that’s because we are shopping the wrong way. Weekly shopping trips mean paying full price for most dietary needs. However, it’s possible to pre-plan meals around the highest-priced items (meats, dairy, etc.) by stockpiling as these items go on sale. Some experts report that a family of four can save over $500 a month by planning ahead.
Dallas is one of the fastest growing cities in America, say the experts at Texas Lending (TexasLending.com) one of the prime mortgage lenders in the area. In this brief Q&A, they discuss why Dallas has grown from a mere 698 people to a booming metropolis of 1.2 million.
Q: Why has Dallas been such a popular place to relocate since the 1900s?
Texas Lending: One visit to the city and it’s easy to see why. Dallas has an exceptional job market which, like many cities in the Lone Star State, is driven by oil and technology. The people are nice, the weather is outstanding, and the housing market offers some of the most unforgettable (yet still affordable) real estate in the US.
Everything’s bigger in Texas…except the cost of winterizing your home, says the team at TexasLending.com. Here, the Dallas-based mortgage provider answers questions about getting ready for the big chill.
Q: How should I prepare my appliances for potentially freezing weather?
TexasLending.com: The majority of your home’s appliances are located in the finished areas of your home, so there’s no special preparation necessary. However, a garage-based hot water heater should be insulated and flushed to remove any sediment.
Q: What causes burst pipes in homes?
TexasLending.com: As water freezes, it expands. If enough water collects inside of pipes, the pressure brought about by this expansion can cause sudden and costly damage. Pipe insulation is an extremely affordable way to prevent busted pipes. It is available at most hardware stores and is easy to install without special tools, experience, or equipment.
Texas is leading the nation in growth with half of the top 16 fastest growing cities in the United States. Here, TexasLending.com speaks about the booming economy of the Lone Star State.
Q: What Texas city has seen the greatest economic growth?
TexasLending.com: Midland saw a substantial growth spurt between 2013 and 2014. With a median household income of nearly $56,000 and a $250,000 median list price for residential real estate, Midland has definitely become a city replete with jobs and well-priced housing.
Q: What city is considered the best value in Texas?
TexasLending.com: Depending on your definition of value, San Angelo, Texas, may fit the bill. In this charming town, a four-bedroom 2200 ft. home will average less than $200,000. The area has a respectable median income of $43,000 per year and is located within driving distance of some of the area’s best manufacturing jobs.
By now, 1099s and W2s should be in the hands of American taxpayers. However, before filing taxes you may want to know about the newest tax scams to watch out for. Scammers are looking for ways to steal money, especially during the tax season, says TexasLending.com.
Many citizens have reported receiving a call from con artists who pretend to be from the IRS and tell them they have to pay up right away or else. Don’t believe it. The IRS has formal processes in place for people with tax issues, and manipulative calls like these run contrary to IRS protocol. According to TexasLending.com, an IRS agent will not call about taxes owed without first mailing the taxpayer an official letter.
Other tax scammers try to rip off their victims by making them file false scams for nonexistent rebates, phony tax credits, or even refunds based on their social security benefits.