If You Want to Make Your Pre-Winter Roof Checkup Easier, Your Attic Can Help

If you put any stock in the Farmer’s Almanac, it’s going to be a harsh winter. Which is one of the many reasons to check the health of your roof now . By using your attic, you may save yourself a trip to the hospital.

Think of it this way: No homeowner wants to be climbing a ladder 25 feet or so into the sky when Old Man Winter hits. Instead, your attic – which is a lot more comfortable – can substitute, as a fallback, for the eyeball roof check experts recommend be done every pre-winter and spring to identify problems before they become even more serious headaches.

Want to Avoid Home Improvement Blunders? Follow These 3 Tips (Including Using VR)

If you want proof of how carefully you need to weigh the alternatives before making upgrades to your home, you have only to look at the Florida couple who last year painted their house as an homage to the artist Vincent Van Gogh’s famous canvas, “The Starry Night.” It wasn’t just that it was an odd choice for an exterior – it was that the city of Mount Dora took them to court over it.

“Graffiti,” the city calls it. “First Amendment!” counters homeowner Lubek Jastrzebski, an immigrant from Communist-era Poland, who argues that the city code didn’t address house colors or aesthetics.

If You’re A Homeowner, It’s Time to Prep for Storm Season

It’s the time of year that homeowners most dread: storm season. And with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicting five to nine hurricanes – with as many as four “major” ones boasting sustained winds of 111-plus mph – they’re anticipating an “active” six months or so through the end of November.

And while no one’s saying there will be a repeat of last season’s devastating hurricanes, it clearly pays for homeowners to be prepared.

Read on for some of the best advice on readying for the next (inevitable) storm.

Everything Newlyweds Should Know about Coupling Finances

Turns out that “coupling” doesn’t just mean “pairing” in the traditional sense, but is also a catchphrase when it comes to finances. As we head into wedding season, it’s especially relevant. Because as much as you may think no two people have ever been more in love than you are, the truth is that it could be less than smooth sailing ahead if you’re not on the same page when it comes to financial matters.

“Couples have a very hard time talking about money,” Joan Atwood, a Hofstra University professor of marriage and family therapy, bemoaned on an NPR “Money Coach” segment on the issue. “I would say it’s the last taboo.”

New Job Benefits Could Provide Employees Relief from Student Debt

When joining a new company, there are often perks to consider: a company car, maybe a 401(k) plan.

With Millennials now making up the lion’s share of the workforce, a number of companies are betting that helping to pay off student debt is the next game-changer when it comes to attracting and retaining the best and the brightest.

It’s not a bad wager. Total education debt stood at a staggering $1.52 trillion at the end of March. And while the perk is by no means reserved only for millennials, it’s not lost on anyone that the average student loan borrower will have graduated this year saddled with more than $37,000 in debt.

If You’re A First Time Home Buyer, This Primer Can Help

Finally ready to own instead of rent? Welcome to the club.

After waiting for what seemed like forever, first-time homebuyers last year made 38 percent of all U.S. single-family home purchases – the biggest share since 2000 – and the 2.07 million new or existing houses they bought ended up being 7 percent more than in 2016, Bloomberg.com reports.

But the market for house-hunting newbies has changed drastically from that most recent high mark of nearly two decades ago. Read on.

Three Reasons Why You Probably Shouldn’t Install Your Own Roof

Think you’re up to the challenge of taking on the fourth most dangerous job in America? If you decide to install your own roof, that’s exactly what you’ll be doing.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, even police officers have less chance of dying on the job than professional roofers do. And yet countless DIYers risk their lives every year just to try to save some money.

“There’s no better way to meet an orthopedic surgeon – or an undertaker – than by spending an extended amount of time on your roof,” cautions PopularMechanics.com. “One small slip or misstep, and it’s a long way down.”

More Buyers in The Market Means Certain Home Upgrades Can Pay Off

Don’t think of Millennials as just the early adopters of Uber. Think of them as the next generation of home buyers.

The newly released U.S. home ownership rate rose last year for the first time in just over a dozen years (it’s at 64.2 percent). This is driven mainly by the desire to own versus rent by the under-35 crowd who, to date, have been hesitant to commit for both financial and personal reasons.

Retirement Score In America Hits Historical High

Americans are more financially prepared for retirement than they have been in quite some time – with special kudos to millennials for the amount of money they’ve been putting away.

Still, Fidelity Investments’ latest biennial Retirement Savings Assessment study (which is mostly upbeat), states that many of those surveyed remain “at risk” of not being able to fully cover essential expenses in retirement if they don’t turn things around.

Could Fewer New Year’s Financial Resolutions Be A Sign of Apathy?

Even as America enters its nine-year run in a bull market, the sheer number of people making year-end financial resolutions is at an all-time low, according to the ninth annual “Fidelity Investments New Year Financial Resolutions Study.” The reason? Because so many “are feeling better about their personal financial situation and are generally optimistic about what 2018 will bring,” according to the study.

In fact, only 27 percent of respondents say they intended to make a financial resolution this year. That’s down 16 percent from the high of 43 percent who answered similarly heading into 2014, and this is what could signal a worrisome sense of “inertia.”