Monday, July 16, 2007
Here's a picture of me and my oldest dog, Smokey. She's been my shadow for almost sixteen years, but she's having problems in her old age. She has arthritis in her back legs which makes it hard for her to walk, she has cataracts and has lost most of her hearing, but she's a spunky dog and is not ready to give up yet. I work with a homeopathic vet who has really helped her arthritis and she's getting around a little better now.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Know your credit situation. Your credit standing will affect the terms of your mortgage. You should try and strengthen your credit rating before applying for a loan by paying bills on time, reducing your total debt load and avoiding unnecessary inquiries to your credit report.
Pinch your pennies. Expenses seem to come out of the woodwork when buying a home. You will have closing costs, homeowners insurance and .the lender will most likely want you to have a “reserve" – money left in your savings account after you’ve covered all the costs.
Tax Advantages. Mortgage interest and property taxes are deductible. Your mortgage payment maybe more than the rent you are paying now, but take into consideration the amount you are saving in taxes.
Weigh your options. Are there any financial programs that may help you get into your first home sooner. Federal and State-backed loan programs make it easier to qualify. Many of them offer little or no money down programs. Some cities, like the city of Los Angeles, also have first time buyer programs .
Where do you stand? Pre-qualification or preapproval of a loan will not only help you know how much home you will qualify for, but also show owners that you’re serious about buying. Your bank or mortgage broker can help you with either of these options.
Location, location, location. Figure out what’s essential to you, such as school district, crime rates, convenient shopping areas, parks, children in the neighborhood. Rank these qualities in of order of importance. Focus on neighborhoods that meet these criteria.
Know what you’re getting into. Make sure you get a professional home inspection as part of your offer on any house. Before you close the deal, be confident about the condition of the home and the expenses you may incur as a result of purchasing that particular house.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Friday, April 6, 2007
We can share stories. If you would like to share pictures of your pets or stories, email your link to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here's the Petsmart website with good information about the pet food recall and other pet info, http://www.petsmart.com/ps/main.jsp
Here's an exerpt from an article in the Real Estate section of the LA Times about moving with your pets.
"Knowing the Laws:
There are some laws you should be aware of when you move with your pet. First, if you are traveling across state lines with a dog (or horse), you will most likely need a health certificate to verify that your animal does not carry any diseases. Every state has its own laws pertaining to pets, so make sure you check with the state before you move to make sure you are prepared. Some states do have border patrols and will check your pets as you enter, so be sure you inquire before leaving as to whether you will need an entry permit or documentation from a veterinarian. In addition, all but four states require rabies inoculations and some require a tag proving this on an animal’s collar. Local regulations in your city or town may require you to leash your pet at all times or limit the number of animals you can have in one home. Call your city department prior to moving and be sure to check with your new landlord as well (this information should also be in your lease).
Traveling with Your Pet:
If you know your pet is prone to motion sickness or is excitable, ask your veterinarian if there is medication that can be prescribed for your pet for the trip. If you’re moving a good distance away from your vet, this also might be a good time to ask for a recommendation for a vet in your new town.You probably won’t want to pack your pet and have him/her carried with your other belongings on the moving van, you don’t want to treat your animal this way in the first place. If you are flying to your new home, you may be able to fly with your pet in an overhead carrier or have it sent it by air freight. If you send your pet by air freight, you will be responsible for the air container, health documents, delivery time, shipping papers, destination pick-up and advance payment of shipping charges. Make sure you arrive at least two hours early so that you can give your pet food, water and exercise before taking off on the long journey.
Many people prefer to travel by car with their pet. If you will need to stay overnight on your way to your new home, make sure to call the hotels or campground that you will be staying at to make sure that they allow pets. Visit http://living.apartments.com/www.tripswithpets.com to find locations for accommodations that accept pets. Some dogs and cats can easily be transported in a portable carrier. This is a much safer method of transporting your pet versus letting him/her loose in the car as you drive. If your pet is too large to be transported in a carrier, make sure to properly restrain your pet in the seat. Believe it or not, you can find safety belts and harnesses specifically designed for pets. Prepare your pet ahead of time by taking him/her on short trips. Make sure you bring ample pet food, a blanket, toys, treats, grooming brushes, paper towels, a scooper and deodorant or air freshener if you are going to be staying in a hotel. Birds, hamsters, gerbils and others small animals can travel in their home cages. Remove water dishes and provide plenty of ventilation. When you make stops, give your pet fresh water. Birds often don’t do well when travelling; keep their cages covered to prevent them from becoming frightened. Tropical fish can be transported in a small tank (5 gallons or less). They can go up to a week without food but should never be overcrowded or subjected to abrupt changes in temperature.
Keeping Your Pet Happy
Your pet may feel confused, scared or excited about the trip and it’s important to know and understand how your pet feels. Keep your pet away from strangers until it realizes it is in a new home and has time to adjust. Keep your pet surrounded with familiar belongings and food. Contact a new veterinarian as soon as possible and have records on file in case of an emergency or illness. Keep your pet on a leash when outside and allow it to adjust to the new neighborhood. Always be respectful of your neighbors’ space and property and realize that even the gentlest pet can become angry when loneliness or fear strikes. With some loving care and attention, your pet will soon adjust to your new home!"