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Best U.S. Cities for New Year’s Eve Parties

New Year’s Eve is almost here. If you don’t have plans already you are cutting it close.  Click the picture to find out the best U.S. cities for New Year’s Eve parties. It’s never too late to plan a road trip.

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Picking the Right Size Sofa for Your Space

Sofas can be one of your biggest furniture investments — both financially and in the impact it has on your room. There is nothing worse than falling in love with one in the store and shelling out hard-earned cash to make it yours only to lug it home and realize it just doesn’t fit the space. Although finding the right-size sofa seems simple, there’s more too it than making sure it can fit through the front door. Keep in mind a few tips and tricks and you will be sure to love your new piece even more in your home than you did in the showroom.

  1. Consider the size of the space. A small sofa fits a small space and large sofa fits a large space. Though this concept seems simple, both design trends and your love of a particular piece sometimes favor cramming large sofas into small spaces. Unfortunately, this never looks or feels right. The opposite is also true, with small sofas getting lost in large lofts and living spaces.
  2. Look at the other furniture in the room. A large sofa looks out of place with small chairs and end tables and vice versa. Don’t group a large, overstuffed sofa with small, basic chairs. Keep the sofa to scale with the other furniture.
  3. Stick to the general spacing rules for all of the furniture in the room, including the sofa. When you are finished with the room, there should be an 18-inch allowance between the sofa and the coffee table. There should be between 3 1/2 to 10 feet of space between seating so that everyone in the room can converse without yelling or feeling like they are crowded. Additionally, the television and sofa should be about 7 feet apart. Your sofa and other furniture should all fit in the room while accommodating these measurements.
  4. Measure the sofa and mark out where it will go in your room with masking tape before you buy it to make sure it will really fit the space. This is especially important for sectionals, which are often over-sized and can inspire buyer’s remorse. Measure the width of your front door, as well, to be sure you can get your new favorite piece into the house — don’t forget stairwells and hallways if you’re in a condo or apartment, or the sofa is going in a room that doesn’t have an exterior door.

**Although style is important, never sacrifice comfort. Even if you have a small space, a little couch may not work for you if you are 6 feet tall. It may be better to have less furniture in the room than a lot of small furniture in that case**

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These are the 10 Fastest Growing Cities in America

People are always moving around. Whether for a job, family, or a whole host of other reasons, many Americans are jumping from one city to another. These are the top ten with a 2.5% or more population growth as reported by the  US Census Bureau.

10. Fort Collins, Colorado

09. Punta Gorda, Florida

08. Bend-Redmond, Oregon

07. Austin- Round Rock, Texas

06. Greeley, Colorado

05. Odessa, Texas

04. Midland, Texas

03. Cape Coral- Fort Myers, Florida

02. Myrtle Beach- Conway- North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina- North Carolina

01. The Villages, Florida

For more info and stats check out United States Census Bureau

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Moving Day Playlist

AC/DC – Highway to Hell
Alkaline Trio – Movin’ Right Along
All-American Rejects – Move Along
Audio Adrenaline – Starting Over
Beach Boys – I Get Around
Beatles – Here Comes the Sun
Billy Joel – Movin’ Out
Black Eyed Peas – Meet Me Halfway
Blink-182 – Going Away to College
Bob Dylan – Like a Rolling Stone
Bob Segar – Night Moves
Bon Jovi – Who Says You Can’t Go Home
Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run
Colin Farrell – Gone, Gone, Gone
Cream – Crossroads
Creedence Clearwater Revival – Lodi
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – Our House
Daft Punk – Around the World
Dave Matthews Band – Drive In Drive Out
Dave Matthews Band – Where Are You Going
DJ Ayres – Move On Up (Curtis Mayfield Remix)
Fleetwood Mac – Go Your Own Way
Flo Rida – Let It Roll
Foghat Slow Ride
Foo Fighters – New Way Home
Gladys Knight – Midnight Train to Georgia
Grateful Dead – Truckin’
Green Day – Welcome to Paradise
Ja Net DuBois – Movin’ On Up (Jefferson’s Song)
Janet Jackson – Runaway
Jay Z – On To The Next One
Jet – Get Me Outta Here
John Denver – Take Me Home
Journey – Don’t Stop Believin
Kiss – New York Groove
Led Zeppelin – Immigrant Song
Lipps Inc – Funky Town
Ludacris – Area Codes
Lynyrd Skynyrd – Sweet Home Alabama
Paul Simon – 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover
Reel 2 Real – I Like to Move It
Rusted Root – Send Me On My Way
Sheryl Crow – Every Day is a Winding Road
Sublime – Wrong Way
Sweet – Fox on the Run
The Beatles – Ticket to Ride
The Black Keys – Goodbye Babylon
The Cranberries – Dreams
The Eagles – New Kid In Town
The Eagles – Already Gone
Willie Nelson – On the Road Again
Young MC – Bust a Move

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How to Spot a Pest Problem When You Tour a House or Apartment

With a growing bed bug problem and an in your face rat problem, it’s important to look for signs of infestation when looking at property to rent or buy.

Cockroaches, mice, bedbugs and ants are among the most common pest problems in America, according to pest control experts, and there’s a good chance you will find yourself battling one in your home at some point. But the last thing you want is to move into a new house or apartment and find those unwanted roommates already making themselves comfortable.

Brian Schoonmaker, vice president of Capitol Pest Control in Bethesda, Maryland, says having insects, spiders or small mammals in your home is unavoidable, but there are ways to keep them from invading your space.

“[Pests are in] literally every home. If you go into a home you will find an insect or rodent dropping,” Schoonmaker says.

Even if pests seem harmless, the creepy crawlies are likely something you don’t want climbing in bed with you. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn of the dangers to pregnant women in a home infested with mice that carry viruses, leading to birth defects or miscarriage simply from breathing in contaminated air. Many other pests also carry diseases or have potentially harmful venom.

Ron Harrison, entomologist and technical services director at Orkin says while pests may be everywhere, they shouldn’t necessarily cause problems. “You say, ‘OK, I just bought my new home, and now I’ve got all these little silverfish that are in the bathtub, or in the sink, scurrying around on my couch. What did I just spend all this money for?’” he says.

Any pest problem can be dealt with, Harrison says, but it’s best to have it taken care of before you move in to the apartment or house. He recommends putting it in writing that the place has to be pest-free before moving in.

Rather than waiting until they find you, follow these simple recommendations when you tour a place to find telltale signs that pests may already be squatting in your next home.

Take a good whiff. When you first step inside a home or apartment, let your nose tell you if something seems wrong.

Richard Estrada, president of ATCO Pest Control in the San Francisco Bay Area says many pests, especially mice and cockroaches, leave behind a smell you can notice in the air, particularly when the pest has made itself at home. “You should be able to detect the odor of a pretty heavy roach infestation,” which is typically described as musty or oily, he says.

Scan the room. Do you see any pests? Spotting a cockroach inside a cabinet or a mouse scurrying across the floor will immediately indicate a pest problem. Estrada says the sight of a pest in the flesh, or any traps or bait stations, should open up a conversation to discuss any pest issues. “Then you can just ask if it’s been taken care of, and the history of that [problem],” Estrada says.

Seeing them alive versus dead doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a bigger problem, but it serves as a good bargaining chip with the agent to stipulate that the home or apartment would need to be fully treated and rid of pests before moving in.

Keep a keen eye out for spots. Fecal matter is a sure sign that pests are in the home, so look for brown spots in and around cabinets that can come from cockroaches, or larger droppings from rodents.

If you see small maroon or brown spots on the walls, particularly behind a bed, or by outlets and switch plates, it may mean there’s a significant bedbug population in the room (more on that below). They could easily spread to other parts of the house if they haven’t already, or even hitch a ride into your car or office.

Carpenter ants also leave behind evidence, but not of the fecal matter variety. As wood-destroying insects, they kick out wood shavings when they nest inside of wood, explains Doug Webb, manager of technical services at Terminix in Memphis, Tennessee.?

What looks like sawdust on windowsills or elsewhere could indicate much more significant structural damage to the home due to these critters.

Bring a flashlight for dark areas. Looking in those hard-to-reach areas pests love to congregate in will help you spot signs of them, and Webb suggests bringing a small flashlight during tours to help see what may be there.

“Just shine in the cabinets, and see if you see a lot of little brown specks clustered around certain areas of the cabinets,” Webb says. “That may be an indication of German cockroaches.”

He adds that closets are a good place to shine the flashlight to check for spider webs. Shining the flashlight along baseboards and behind radiators can also alert you to any holes created by rodents, which means you should…?.

Take a look at the baseboards. Mice or rats will chew holes as entry points into a room where the floor and wall meet, so keep an eye on the baseboards for any small holes.

The baseboards are also a place to spot bedbugs ?while the room is empty of furniture. Bedbugs are notoriously difficult to get rid of and can also be hard to see. Keep a close eye on the outlet covers and baseboards in the bedrooms in particular, as bedbugs prefer to stick to tight areas where they can squeeze in, Schoonmaker says.

“They love any crack and crevice, and if there is no furniture, really the only place for them to be is in the wall voids,” he says.

Ask about the landlord’s pest control policy. As larger buildings with many units, apartment buildings can be particularly difficult to eradicate a pest problem.? Ask the leasing agent or property manager what company they work with and what their policy is when it comes to pests.

Schoonmaker says Capitol Pest approaches rodent problems holistically, closing up outside entrance points so new mice or rats aren’t able to come in, then setting traps and bait stations to get rid of the remaining population within the property.

However, when property managers don’t grasp the ?extent of the problem, pest control companies are left simply patching up holes, which rodents will simply recreate nearby. “It’s almost like playing whack-a-mole? sometimes, where you’re only able to treat one unit, and then two weeks later you get a call from the next door neighbor and three weeks later there’s a call downstairs,” Schoonmaker says. A leasing agent likely won’t want to tell you about any pest problems for fear of ruining their chances of making a deal, but asking what their policy is in the event of an infestation will give you an idea how they will handle any issue that may arise while you live there. That is, unless you don’t mind sharing your home with a few extra guests.

By Devon Thorsby

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Tenants Rights Across the U.S.

If you  are a renter anywhere in this great country the link below will take you to the Tenant Rights/U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Here you will be able to access all the info you need to know as a renter.

Tenant Rights