Before You Cozy Up to a Winter Fire: Chimney and Fireplace Safety Tips

Now that winter weather has arrived, it is a good time to conduct routine maintenance on your chimney and heating system. Continue reading

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New Year’s Resolutions: Top 5 Tips for Managing Your Art Collection

January is here and so are New Year’s Resolutions! Whether or not you have set any new goals, this is a great time of year to review your collection management practices. To help you get started, here are five tips, as well as some resources to help you put your plans into action. Continue reading

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Secondary Homes – Choosing Relaxation over Vexation

For many, a secondary home is a dream come true. The home may serve as a place to spend vacations, relax, build traditions, and establish a family legacy. It may also be a residence to invest in for the future. Unlike rental or income properties, a secondary home is not rented to others and therefore is usually occupied only periodically throughout the year.

However, with a home that is unoccupied for long periods of time, problems can occur such as water leaks, theft, vandalism, and other maintenance concerns. To prevent your dream home from becoming a nightmare residence, consider the following suggestions to help protect your home-away-from-home while it is unoccupied.
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Protecting Your Income Property Investment

Owning an income or rental property can bring many benefits. When done right, an income property provides additional income, allows diversification of investments, and can offer significant tax deductions. The property value could even appreciate over time.

In the perfect scenario, you will have a long-term tenant that pays the rent regularly and on time, the property will never be vacant, and maintenance issues won’t ever arise. However, the reality is that you will more than likely face times without a tenant, have a tenant that falls behind in rent payments, or have a tenant that doesn’t care about the condition. While there is no guarantee that these situations will always be avoided, we have created a checklist to help prevent loss and protect your income property investment.
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Protecting Your Home from Fire While It’s Under Construction

Building or remodeling a home is an exciting time filled with many decisions. A consideration often overlooked is the importance of fire protection during this time when your home is most susceptible to fire due to construction-related activities. Luckily there … Continue reading

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Dreaming of a White (and Safe) Christmas

December has the second highest number of fires in the United States, led only by January (10 percent of all home structure fires in year versus 11 percent), according to 2009-2013 data from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Data from the U.S. Fire Administration quantifies the risk differently: During a typical winter holiday season, on average nearly 156,000 residential fires, $936 million in property damage, 2,600 injuries and 630 deaths occur. Continue reading

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Outdoor Kitchens Are Heating Up

Yesterday’s barbecue grills and wooden picnic tables are increasingly being replaced with permanent outdoor kitchens that often feature grills, islands, bars, sinks, refrigerators, patios, flat-screen TVs, weatherproof storage cabinets, audio systems, and other features.
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No Boundaries for Natural Disasters

Natural disasters continue to dominate the headlines. And although some areas of the world tend to be more risk-prone to catastrophes, the fact is that hurricanes, tornados, hail storms, flooding and wildfires can occur most anywhere.

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Sinkhole Signs From the Inside

Below is a list of things to look for inside your house that could be signs of a developing sinkhole. Keep in mind that these visual clues may be signs of unrelated sinkhole issues, such as settlement or subsidence. However, if you have concerns or are in doubt, getting advice from a specialist a like real estate inspector or civil engineer is prudent.

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Signs of Sinking

Below is a list of things to look for on your property and on the outside of your house that could be signs of a developing sinkhole. Continue reading

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