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99-Cent Store Solution #5: Fix a Stripped Screw

Man using a screwdriverA stripped screw isn’t necessarily bound for the  trash can—a quick fix can be done on the cheap. Image:  pkline/iStockphoto

Supplies:

  • Hacksaw, 99 cents
  • “Chiquidracula” DVD, 99 cents. What a find!

Total: $1.98
What you do:

  • Use the hacksaw to cut into the top of the stripped screw to create a new  groove for the screwdriver
  • Reward yourself with a job well done: Watch the 1992 Mexican movie classic “Chiquidracula.”
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Buying Beats Renting in all 100 Largest US Metro Areas

<a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=20899210">Gingerbread house</a> image via Shutterstock.

Despite recent price increases in many markets, it’s now cheaper to own a home than rent in all 100 of the largest U.S. metro areas, thanks to climbing rents and low mortgage rates and tax breaks for homeowners, according to a rent-vs.-buy report released today by real estate search site Trulia.

Homeownership is most affordable in Detroit, the report found, where the monthly cost of owning a home ($349) was 70 percent cheaper than renting one ($1,149). Gary, Ind., and Oklahoma City, Okla., both with monthly homeownership costs that were 63 percent cheaper than renting, were No. 2 and No. 3 in the report, respectively, for U.S. homeownership affordability.

 

 

 

 

 

Downtown Detroit image via Shutterstock.

For its analysis, Trulia averaged the price of homes for sale and for rent on its site in each metro from June 1, 2012, to Aug. 31, 2012. For homeownership costs, the report took into account closing costs, maintenance, insurance, property taxes and other costs. The report assumed homes would be sold after seven years and that owners were in the 25 percent federal income tax bracket, itemized their deductions, and could obtain a mortgage at a rate of 3.5 percent. Renting cost calculations included renters insurance and deposit.

Top 10 metros with highest homeownership affordability

U.S. Metro Monthly cost of homeownership ($) Monthly cost of renting ($) Difference ($) Difference (%)
Detroit, Mich. $349 $1,149 -$800 -70%
Gary, Ind. $616 $1,649 -$1,033 -63%
Oklahoma City, Okla. $590 $1,576 -$987 -63%
Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla. $495 $1,276 -$781 -61%
Toledo, Ohio $476 $1,222 -$746 -61%
Memphis, Tenn.-Miss.-Ark. $548 $1,389 -$841 -61%
Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, Mich. $588 $1,494 -$907 -61%
Cleveland, Ohio $585 $1,464 -$879 -60%
West Palm Beach, Fla. $723 $1,764 -$1,041 -59%
Birmingham, Ala. $515 $1,247 -$732 -59%

Source: Trulia

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Embrace the Outdoors with a Sunroom!

Embrace the Outdoors with a Sunroom!

A sun-drenched room filled with expansive exterior windows goes by many names: sunporch, sunroom, solarium, Florida room, sun parlor and in some cases even conservatory. Conservatories often had glass roofs and served as greenhouses or orangeries as well, but the definition has become squishy over the years. A sunporch is protected from the elements more than a screened-in porch is because it has windows that close. While older sunporches are typically three-season rooms (not having insulation or HVAC systems), newer sunporches are often built to be inhabited year-round. Whatever you call this light-filled room, it’s often the most popular space in the house. Decide if converting an existing porch or adding a new sunporch is for you.

In a small cottage where space is tight, a sunporch may serve as the only dining room.
In warmer climates, like that of Southern California, a sunporch is a year-round room. This extensive system of French doors and transoms allows diners to have a full view of the surrounding garden and yard.

eclectic porch by LKM Design

 

A long enclosed porch has plenty of room for lounging and dining. Try defining the spaces with an area rug or two.

A brick floor adds a rustic touch that articulates the room’s place between fully enclosed and open to the elements.
Just because a sunporch is often a three-season room, there’s no reason to limit it to outdoor furniture and forgo cushy indoor-style upholstery. This elegant room works for formal and casual gatherings.
In fact, a sunporch will protect more refined woods and textiles than an open or screened-in porch, so you can furnish it with more formal and delicate pieces.
The best of both worlds involves a sunporch surrounded by screens in the summer …
A sunporch is a great opportunity to let your “I love cottage style” flag fly. Oversize checkerboard painted floors make this porch a playful standout.
If you’re looking for more indoor living space around your house, consider closing in an existing open or screened in porch and turning it into a sunporch. If you want to show off in front of the neighbors, call your renovated room a “conservatory.” Compliments of Houzz.com
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