• Thanksgiving Toolbox: Peel the Potatoes With a Drill


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    The big game’s on, family and friends have gathered, and there’s so much to do. Save yourself some time with this speedy trick for peeling potatoes lightning fast.

    1. Gather your supplies: a pile of taters and your power drill (with a thoroughly washed bit).


    2. Get your potato in position and grab your peeler.


    3. Ready, set, peel!


    4. Get those bad boys into boiling water and cross “Peel potatoes” off your to-do list.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

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  • How to Get Rid of Private Mortgage Insurance

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    Filed under: . PMI protects the lender from loss if you can’t make payments on a loan with less than a 20 percent down payment.

    PMI increases a borrower’s monthly mortgage payment, which is why most borrowers don’t want to shoulder it. Short of saving up a sufficient down payment, however, there are only a few ways to avoid PMI or get rid of it.

    1. Take Out a Second Mortgage

    One way to avoid PMI is to take out what’s sometimes called a piggyback loan or an 80-10-10. In this scenario, you’d take out a mortgage for 80 percent of the value (so it doesn’t require PMI), make a 10 percent down payment and take out a second loan for the remaining 10 percent. You could borrow that 10 percent in the form of an installment loan or a home equity line of credit.

    “It’s not always a good idea,” said Casey Fleming, a mortgage adviser for C2 Financial Corp. and the author of “The Loan Guide.”

    “If you use two loans, you will avoid mortgage insurance, but you should go in with a plan to get rid of the second …read more  

  • How to Not Burn Down the House While Cooking the Turkey

    Fire Department Demonstrates The Dangers Of Deep-Frying Turkeys

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    Getty ImagesIf you decide to deep fry a turkey, move away from the house and use a long-handled tool, as this firefighter shows.

    By HomeInsurance.com

    The countdown to turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie has begun. Thanksgiving’s arrival means many of us are scouring the closet for pants with stretchy waistbands so we can prepare to feast.

    The holiday is all about giving thanks and spending a day with loved ones. But cooking the festive Thanksgiving meal can lead to fires. And fires can lead to injuries, deaths or property loss, so make sure to follow some safety suggestions for this holiday.

    Check the Stats

    Thanksgiving Day is the peak day for cooking fires in homes, accounting for about three times as many fires as any other day of the year, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

    Each year between 2011 and 2013, Thanksgiving Day produced an average of 2,100 residential building fires, resulting in $28 million in property damage, 50 injuries, and 10 deaths, according to a report by the U.S. Fire Administration.

    What causes …read more