Tuesday, December 17, 2013

How to Use Your 401(k) Plan to Prevent Foreclosure

How to Use Your 401(k) Plan to Prevent Foreclosure
Read more: http://www.ehow.com/how_5743379_use-401_k_-plan-prevent-foreclosure.html

If you are facing a home foreclosure, borrowing money from your 401(k) plan is one resource you can tap. Though there might be certain restrictions, a 401(k) plan might allow you to take out a hardship loan against your balance. Here's what to consider to determine if this is the right decision for you.


  • Determine how much you need to borrow. A 401(k) plan might limit your loan to the lesser of 50 percent of your vested balance or $50,000. Vested means the portion of your 401(k) that belongs to you, regardless if the contribution was by you or a company match. In many cases, employees become fully vested after five years with a company. Some plans will not let you borrow less than $1,000. Call your lender and find out how much money you need to bring your mortgage current.
  • Call your 401(k) plan administrator. You might be able to apply for a loan over the phone, though you usually will be asked to fill out an application. Fill out the paperwork and send it back to your plan administrator. If no paperwork is required, your phone call should set the process in motion. Taking out a 401(k) loan is preferable to a hardship withdrawal because there is no tax penalty. With a hardship withdrawal, you are subject to a 10-percent penalty if done before age 59 ½.
  • Determine how you will repay the loan. Most loans of this sort are paid back through payroll deduction. You will be able to set up the terms and agreements with the 401(k) plan administrator. You will likely have five years to repay the loan. Find out how much will be taken out of your paycheck each period. 
  • Once your loan is approved, you will receive the funds by check. Deposit the check right into your bank account and wait for it to clear. You can then use your own personal check to pay your mortgage company and get your home out of foreclosure.

Tips & Warnings

  •  You will not be eligible to contribute to your 401(k) plan until your loan is paid back. Therefore you will be ineligible to receive the employer contribution match (if applicable) during this time.
  • When you take money out of your 401(k), even on a loan, you limit the growth of your account.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Pay Rent Via Credit Card

Dear Resident-
We are pleased to announce that you can now pay your rent via Credit Card. This new payment method offers you an additional secure and convenient way to pay your rent.  
With credit card rent payment, we are introducing a simple 3-tiered online payment fee, which is based on the amount charged to your credit card:
Simple 3 Tier Pricing:
$.01-$900              $17 Charge
$900.01-$1250      $27 Charge
$1250.01-$3000    $37 Charge
Please Note:  You can continue to pay rent online using the E-Check option you’ve used in the past, simply choose the ‘E-Check’ payment option when you log into your resident portal.  If you choose to pay via E-Check/ACH, an instant rebate for this online payment fee is applied, and you can complete your payment free of charge. The good news is that now you have a few choices when it comes to paying your rent online!   
How Does it Work?
1.    Log into your resident portal and click the button to Make a Payment.
2.    When you see the pop-up dialog box asking you to select your preferred payment method, select the Credit / Debit Card option.   
3.    You will then be prompted to enter your payment amount. You can enter any amount up to $3000.
4.    All online payments have a fee associated with processing the payment.
Note: You can always continue to pay via E-Check and receive an instant rebate on the online payment fee. 
5.    After entering your payment amount, enter your Credit/Debit Card information and verify your payment details.
6.    Once you click ‘Make This Payment Now” your payment is immediately processed and you will receive an online confirmation as well as an email confirmation.
Please feel free to contact us should you have any questions – we’re excited to offer you multiple ways to securely and easily pay your rent online.
Thank you,
Sparrow Property Management, Inc.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Control Spiders

Courtesy of Pest Exterminator: http://www.pestexterminator.com/spider-control/

Control Inside the Home

More than any pesticide or other pest control method, the best way to prevent spiders is to keep the home clean and free of food sources. Spiders are solitary hunters that prefer darkness and prey on other pests. They often take residence in corners or crevices where they are both safe from human danger and more likely to catch unsuspecting pests as they make their way into or around the home. For prevention, begin by cleaning cluttered areas of the home, especially the garage, attic, closets and bathrooms. Spiders prefer areas where it's cool and dark, so make sure to get areas underneath and behind furniture to prevent spiders from making themselves at home. A vacuum also works well to clean underneath furniture, behind appliances and in inconspicuous areas where spiders lurk. If you see spider webs in the corner of closets, bedroom walls or door frames, swat the web with a newspaper. Even if the spider isn't present on the web, it's an indicator that they will return or leave it behind for another spider to take up residence.
Spiders are repelled by citrus scents such as lemon, orange and lime, so any time you clean surfaces with a scented cleaner, use one with a citrus odor to act as double duty as a spider repellent. Spray along baseboards, doorways, in bathrooms and kitchen surfaces where spiders heavily frequent. Of course, there are common pesticides found in stores that work just as well in killing spiders at home. If exposure to pets and children are a concern, consider using pesticides made of natural ingredients that are non-toxic. Some of the most effective pesticides are those that also kill moths, mosquitoes, and flies. This helps eliminate the source of food for spiders, encouraging them to move elsewhere.

Outdoor Control

Outside, there are many do-it-yourself techniques that can get rid of spiders. One of the best ways to get rid of spiders is to eliminate their food source. This means killing off other pests such as mosquitoes, flies, moths and similar bugs. Pesticides can be applied to the lawn and garden for potential pests that spiders feed on.
Keep outdoor lights turned off to help limit other pests and the food source for spiders. Moths in particular are attracted to porch lights, which is why spider webs are often found covering them. If you notice egg sacs around the exterior of your home, use a pesticide spray to get rid of the eggs before they hatch. Spiders can lay up to 100 eggs or more each time, which can greatly lead to infestations and reoccurrence of the same problems.

When to Call for Pest Control Services

Homeowners that face widespread infestations may have difficulty uncovering every area where spiders are present. You may not know where to look, and despite your efforts in getting deep into crevices, corners, and clutter, they may continue to appear.
If the above methods and suggestions for controlling spiders in and around your home don't work, contact a pest control company for further assistance. They can help you uncover areas where spiders may be hiding and recommend treatment that helps get rid of them for good.

Ant Control

Courtesy of the Small Notebook: http://smallnotebook.org/2010/04/21/5-simple-natural-ant-control-remedies/

If you notice ants coming into your home and they are bothersome, try following some of these tricks:

Cinnamon Sticks & Garlic Cloves

Place cinnamon sticks or garlic in areas where you have seen ants enter, such as in window tracks, by doors and in corners around your home. While garlic cloves aren’t as aromatically pleasing as cinnamon sticks, they work really well. Just peel and slice a few cloves and place them where you notice the ants. Last year we had some unexplained ants that kept invading my daughter’s dresser so we placed the cloves on the dresser. After a day or two, we replaced them with fresh cloves and the ants never returned.
You can also place cinnamon sticks around the pantry for extra protection. Once, I ran out of cinnamon and used cloves instead – it worked just as well. I actually witnessed ants crawling away from the cloves.


Place white vinegar or apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle and spray on areas where you have seen ants. The fungicidal and insecticidal properties in the vinegar help prevent ants.

Black Pepper

Sprinkle black pepper where you see ants. The ants will immediately scatter. Pay attention to where they run; chances are they will be exiting your house and you’ll be able to treat the entry area with pepper too.

Boiling Water

For serious anthill problems in your yard or walkway, pour boiling water over the anthills. It sounds a bit cruel, but pesticides can be equally, if not more, cruel.


Mint destroys the smelling capabilities of ants and prevents them from entering your home. There are several ways to use mint to prevent ant infestations. First, plant mint around your home, especially near doors and close to areas where you have seen anthills. Second, place mint leaves in and around windows. If ants are entering your pantry, place some mint leaves on the shelves and in the corners.

Wipes will Clog your Toilet

Never Flush Wipes Down the Toilet


Popular bathroom wipes blamed for clogs, backups in sewers across US
Increasingly popular bathroom wipes pre-moistened towelettes that are often advertised as flushable are being blamed for creating clogs and backups in sewer systems around the nation.
Wastewater authorities say wipes may go down the toilet, but even many labeled flushable aren't breaking down as they course through the sewer system. That's costing some municipalities millions of dollars to dispatch crews to unclog pipes and pumps and to replace and upgrade machinery.
The problem got so bad in this western New York community this summer that sewer officials set up traps basket strainers in sections of pipe leading to an oft-clogged pump to figure out which households the wipes were coming from. They mailed letters and then pleaded in person for residents to stop flushing them.

"We could walk right up, knock on the door and say, 'Listen, this problem is coming right from your house,'" said Tom Walsh, senior project coordinator at South & Center Chautauqua Lake Sewer Districts, which was dispatching crews at least once a week to clear a grinder pump that would seize up trying to shred the fibrous wipes. The National Association of Clean Water Agencies, which represents 300 wastewater agencies, says it has been hearing complaints about wipes from sewer systems big and small for about the last four years.

That roughly coincides with the ramped-up marketing of the "flushable cleansing cloths" as a cleaner, fresher option than dry toilet paper alone. A trade group says wipes are a $6 billion-a-year industry, with sales of consumer wipes increasing nearly 5 percent a year since 2007 and expected to grow at a rate of 6 percent annually for the next five years.

One popular brand, Cottonelle, has a campaign called "Let's talk about your bum" and ads showing people trying to wash their hair with no water. It ends with the tagline: "You can't clean your hair without water, so why clean your bum that way?"

Manufacturers insist wipes labeled flushable aren't the problem, pointing instead to baby and other cleaning wipes marked as nonflushable that are often being used by adults.
"My team regularly goes sewer diving" to analyze what's causing problems, said Trina McCormick, a senior manager at Kimberly-Clark Corp., maker of Cottonelle. "We've seen the majority, 90 percent in fact, are items that are not supposed to be flushed, like paper towels, feminine products or baby wipes."

Wastewater officials agree that wipes, many of which are made from plastic, aren't the only culprits but say their problems have escalated with the wipes market. Vancouver, Wash., sewer officials say wipes labeled as flushable are a big part of a problem that has caused that city to spend more than $1 million in the last five years replacing three large sewage pumps and eight smaller ones that were routinely clogging.

To prove their point, they dyed several kinds of wipes and sent them through the sewer for a mile to see how they would break up. They didn't. Those labeled flushable, engineer Frank Dick said, had "a little rips and tears but still they were intact."

The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, which serves Montgomery and Prince George's counties in Maryland, has also spent more than $1 million over five years installing heavy-duty grinders, while the Orange County, Calif., Sanitation District, in a single year recorded 971 "de-ragging" maintenance calls on 10 pump stations at a cost of $320,000.

Importance of Having Renters Insurance

Not only does renter's insurance provide protection for your personal items and liability for your negligence, it will also pay defense costs if someone is injured on the property, or if you are sued because of damages you cause to the dwelling. Imagine that the rental house where you live burns because you accidentally left the stove turned on when you ran to the store. The company that insures the dwelling for its owner is likely to pay for the damage and then sue you to recover that amount. Your renter's insurance will pay for any defense cost, plus the judgment awarded by the court, up to the limits of your policy. Read more: http://www.ehow.com/about_6694541_renter_s-insurance-important_.html#ixzz2h4H1M3Hj

Lawn Care Tips

Spring brings flowers, weeds and the need to maintain the lawn. Below is a great article from http://www.ehow.com/way_5183257_do-yourself-lawn-care.html they should come in handy during the spring and summer mowing season. Whether you can't afford to hire someone or you just feel like doing it yourself, doing your own lawn care can be a rewarding experience. The good thing about doing your own lawn is you'll know exactly what shape it's in, and what it does and doesn't need. It's also great exercise and you'll be saving a few bucks at the same time. Getting started won't be that hard and you'll only need some basic equipment to do so.
  1. Gather Your Equipment

    • When doing your own lawn care you'll need some basic equipment to get started, such as a lawn mower, weed eater, edger and blower. You will be able to do your edging with a Weed Eater; it will just be a bit trickier. With a little bit of practice operating the Weed Eater, you should be able to do your trimming without an edger. An edger will make this task easier but if you're trying to save some bucks, use a Weed Eater to do the job. You might make a few unsightly swipes when you first start using it, but with time you'll begin to feel like a pro. You can also sweep any grass trimmings away with a broom, to save a couple of dollars but a blower will also make the job easier. Don't waste your money on purchasing the most expensive equipment on the market. Stick with the most economical setup that will get the job done. If you have a larger area to mow, spend a few dollars more and go with a self-propelled lawn mower.

    Set-up a Schedule

    • The healthiest lawns are the ones maintained on a regular basis. Depending on the climate and time of year, most lawns will need mowing at least once a week during the growing season. The healthier your lawn is, the less chance you'll have a problem with weeds taking it over. Don't cut your grass too short as this can injure it and deplete the nutrients in it. Cut your grass at a height of 2 to 3 inches. The best thing you can do for yourself is learn what type of grass you have and what it needs to be healthy. Also, by keeping your flowerbeds edged on a regular basis, you won't have a problem with grass and weeds creeping into them from the lawn. This will mean less work for you.

    Keep the Lawn Watered

    • Depending on the temperature, water your grass two to three times per week during the warmer months. In cooler times, once or twice a week should do. Make sure when you do water that you do so deeply. This will help the lawn's root system to develop deeper roots. By giving your lawn light doses of water, you run the chance of the lawn developing shallow roots and weeds infiltrating it. In periods of heavy rain, you can cut back on the water, and in periods of drought you may need to increase its frequency. By drenching your lawn in too much water, you'll deplete the nutrients and open the grass up for an invasion of weeds.

    Fertilization and Weed Control

    • Fertilize your lawn with an all-purpose fertilizer specifically designed for lawns, quarterly. If you live in a colder climate, you will probably only need to fertilize your lawn three times per year. By keeping your grass fertilized regularly, you will maintain its health and it will be less prone to diseases. In early spring you can apply a preemergence herbicide to the lawn to take care of any weeds before they start. If weeds do become a problem, you can apply a liquid herbicide to the affected areas or apply a granular weed-and-feed. It's best to take care of weeds as they begin to grow instead of waiting for them to take over an area. When dealing with your flowerbeds, you can pull the weeds out by hand or use herbicide designed specifically for flowerbed weed control. Be careful not to spray any herbicide on plants you don't want to kill. If insects become a problem, bring a plant sample with you to your local gardening center, so you'll be able to get the correct insecticide to cure the problem.

Internet and Phone Options

New Wireless Options

Energy Saving Tips

Set thermostats at 78°F in the summer and 68°F in the winter. You can expect a 3-4% increase in energy use for every degree you set the thermostat lower in the summer and higher in the winter. Also consider installing a programmable thermostat, which will automatically adjust your home’s temperature settings when you’re away or sleeping—a benefit that can save you up to $100 a year.

See more tips at: http://residential.georgiapower.com/energy-tips/?all2