Blog Directory Martinspiration

The 411 on home security systems

June 24, 2018

Don't get alarmed, but consider that a burglary happens once every 13 seconds. In fact, 2.5 million burglaries occur each year, with two-thirds of those being home break-ins. A person is home during a burglary nearly 28 percent of the time; one out of four of those at home are harmed. A home security system can monitor your home against these threats.

But there are a lot of home security providers and options to pick from. With so many choices, it’s easy to get confused. Lacking knowledge, you could end up spending more money than you need to. Worse, you may find your home under-protected.

Learn about the different home security systems and companies by reading my latest article on this topic for The Mortgage Reports, available here.

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Space: the final frontier

June 17, 2018

In the average American home, closets, garages, attics and basements will only get you so far. Sooner or later, you’re bound to run out of storage space for all the accoutrement you collect. And that’s when clutter takes over, making rooms appear disorganized and design-challenged. Fortunately, there are creative ways to solve your storage troubles – if you’re prepared to think outside of the closet box, according to the experts.

Learn how to transform wasted nooks and crannies into sneaky storage spaces around your home by reading my latest article for CTW Features, published here.

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HEL vs. HELOC: which is right for your borrowing needs?

June 11, 2018

Owning a home isn’t cheap. Making monthly mortgage payments is tough enough. Then, there are other costs that can add up quickly. These include maintenance and improvement expenses. Thankfully, you can pursue funding options to help pay for these bills. Two of the most popular are a home equity loan and a home equity line of credit (HELOC). But which is better: a home equity loan vs. a HELOC?

That depends on your needs and goals. Each option involves tapping into your home’s appraised value to borrow money. Each has its pros and cons. Digging into these differences can help you make a more informed decision.

Get the 411 on each option by reading my latest piece for The Mortgage Reports, accessible here.

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Fragile: contents agile

June 3, 2018

In the early days of the web, most companies seeking an online presence typically needed to take a dive off Niagara Falls—in the form of old-fashioned waterfall web design. The cascading approach was often slow, sequential and tedious, requiring every step of the project to be completed separately and individually in a linear, lengthy fashion. Then, in 2001, the Manifesto for Agile Software Development was created, espousing the benefits of an iterative, incremental and agile process. Developers began increasingly adopting an alternative methodology—agile web development—which involves breaking a website project up into smaller chunks that can each be finished and rolled out live one by one instead of waiting until the entire project is completed and releasing it all at once.

Since that time, agile has become the scheme of choice for building software and websites at many companies. Yet, agile hasn’t proven to be a perfect solution. While it offers several advantages over waterfall and other methodologies, it has its limitations, too.

Discover more about these limitations--as well as the myriad benefits of agile web development--by checking out my latest in-depth feature for EContent Magazine, available here.

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When Mother Nature strikes 7-Eleven

May 27, 2018

Most people consider words about the weather to fall into the small talk conversation starter category. But for convenience store operators, it’s serious business, not idle chatter.

From blizzards to heat waves and floods to wildfires, severe storms and extreme events involving the elements can threaten a c-store operator's bottom line as well as their safety. Planning for and ta;king about these Mother Nature-induced adversities can soften the blow.

Read more about this topic, which I explore in further detail, in my newest article for CSP Magazine, available here.

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No time like the present for pot and box gardening

May 6, 2018

Homeowners with a yen for growing plants, flowers, fruits and vegetables don’t have to break new ground – literally. They can follow time-tested advice and make matters simple by gardening above ground in boxes and containers.

Box gardening within raised beds over grass or soil offers the advantage of letting you create the ideal new soil environment within an above-ground wooden, metal or plastic frame that you can make yourself or assemble from a kit. Gardening in containers, meanwhile, offers portability and flexibility.

Read up on this trendy horticultural how-to topic, published in the Daily Herald, by clicking here.

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