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What Is a Reverse Mortgage?

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A reverse mortgage is a complicated business. Basically, it is a loan that allows senior homeowners ages 62 and older to convert the equity in their homes into cash, which can then be paid to the homeowner in accordance with several different options (see below); the home’s equity is used as collateral. The borrower or...

An Attitude of Gratitude Brings Great Things

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There is no shortage of things for which a person can be grateful. Yet, I am sure, like me, most people are guilty of taking so many things for granted. As Oprah Winfrey famously said, “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough”. In business dealings, I have realized this too is factor of consideration that must be realized in all dealings because gratitude is a two way street that is often underappreciated.

A few months ago, I had a consultation with a “family” looking to buy a house. When I say family, I mean a conference room full of people… a husband and wife, their married...

Jerusalem’s Streets: Rechov Hakablan

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Every time my brother-in-law visits Israel, we grab a few hours — and a few books about Jerusalem’s neighborhoods and streets — and off we trek to different sections of Jerusalem to learn about the people whom the streets were named after. This is the second installment in a series of articles discussing the streets of Jerusalem and the stories behind their names.

One of the major streets in Har Nof is Hakablan, which means “contractor” or “builder.” Who is this builder?

Yitzchak Abud Levi was born in 1906 and lived until 1981, and was one of Jerusalem’s largest builders. Beyond these very basic facts, there exists precious little information about Abud Levi, as he...

Let’s Get Ready to Rumble…

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What does the world of wrestling have in common with the world of interior design? Actually, quite a lot. In fact, just for fun, I looked up the definition of wrestling and its description read like this: “A sport in which two competitors attempt to unbalance, control or immobilize each other by various holds and maneuvers.” Yes, that sounds like a decorating project to me!

As an interior designer with very definite opinions, I also happen to be married to a textile designer who is equally invested in his own self-expression. When we first bought a 1950s-style relic/house together, it needed a total renovation. During this long and arduous process, I asked our contractor if he...

Protecting Your Home During the Winter

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The yearly end of Daylight Savings Time brings with it the reminder that it is time to prepare your home to survive the onslaughts of the winter months. In addition to what must be done by people who will occupy their homes during the winter there are added procedures and concerns for those who will not be on the premises at this time — owners of vacation homes and snowbirds who leave their primary residences vacant for several months. Preparations involve both indoor and outdoor items.

Owners who will remain in residence and those who will be away should both think in terms of energy efficiency. If you heat via a furnace, do a heating system checkup and cleaning; clean filters each...

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