Thursday, October 21, 2010

Take Action #24: Go House Hunting

Fall is here.  The weather is gorgeous and there are plenty of houses on the market.  Some of my favorite memories are when my mom would take us to Open Houses on Sunday.  She would go to dream about what “could be” and that’s where I learned to dream.  We would walk through huge houses and my sisters and I would pick out our room and talk about where we would put our bed and dresser and dolls.  I loved to fantasize about living in a big, open, beautiful house.  Little did I know that was part of “visualization” – the other part is of course “believing” that you can actually have it.
Anyway, there are so many houses on the market, the opportunities are endless, interest rates are low and some sellers are flexible – meaning that they may work out owner-financing, lease-purchase or some other creative arrangement.  You never know until you start to explore.  Not sure what the weather will bring this weekend, but get on online and see where there are some Open Houses in your area of interest and go see what’s out there.   Here are some resources:,, and your local paper.
Click here for buying tips.  Happy Hunting!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Take Action #23: Get your Oil Changed

I have a book called “You Can Do It” by Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas.  It was a book written for women about trying new things.  One section is on Car Care with ideas shared by Patti Critchfield, the owner and operator of Patti’s Auto Care in Berkeley, CA.   I’m not the greatest when it comes to taking care of cars and I have to be reminded to change my oil and sometimes red lights are on for a while before I ever notice.    Below is some advice by Patti which I took directly from the book.  Some guys and gals won't need this but the reminder might help others:
1.      Read Your Owner’s Manual
2.      Check the fluids
3.      Keep an eye on your gauges
·        Fuel Gauge
·        Odometer
·        Speedometer
·        Tachometer: shows engine speed in thousands of revolutions per minute
·        Water temperature gauge – shows the  temperature of the engine coolant
Warning Lights
·        Brake system – lets you know if your parking brake is on; if the brake light is on while you’re driving and the parking brake is off,  your brake fluid and/or braking system needs to be inspected
·        Charging system: Indicates a malfunction of the alternator or charging system.
·        Check engine: indicates a problem with the engine function or, on some cars, the transmission
·        Engine oil pressure – reveals low engine pressure
4.      Check your tire pressure
5.      Inspect your windshield wiper blades
6.      Assemble an emergency kit:
·        Flares
·        Flashlight
·        Rope
·        Gallon of water
·        Couple of quarts of oil
·        First-aid kit
·        Tire changing equipment
Glove Compartment should have:
·        AAA or other roadside assistance cards
·        Auto insurance info
·        Health insurance info
·        Pen and paper
·        Regional maps
·        Tire gauge
·        Travel-size packet of wet wipes
·        Owner’s manual
·        Car registration
Hope this information helps and check your oil every 3,000 miles.  I had my first car for a year when I met my ex-husband.  He asked me when I last had my oil changed.  I responded with a big clueless "what?".  He said, the oil - you know, it has to be changed several times a year.  I said "Yeah, well I don't think I have ever done that."  I was 22 then.  At 43, I at least know to change my oil....

Have fun Taking Action by taking care of your car.