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Take a second look at your homebuying options

(BPT) - Buying a home is an exciting process, but for many people it can also seem out of reach. While many renters would like to buy, there are several factors that may lead potential homebuyers to believe they may not be ready. These include credit score requirements, income and debt levels, and the common myth that a 20 percent down payment is needed. Here is some good news: Qualifying for a mortgage may not be so far out of reach.

  • icon Updated: 4:40 am

Pet Central

pets

Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>

Fitness

Fitness

Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>

Crosswords

Crosswords

Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>

Sudoku

Sudoku

Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>




Recent Headlines

Friday 09/21/2018
From deductibles to donuts, key terms to know about Medicare Part D
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:40 am

(BPT) - Navigating the ins and outs of Medicare can be an intimidating experience if you’re not familiar with certain terms.

Back to basics: The importance of real grass
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:40 am

(BPT) - Well-maintained outdoor spaces increase curb appeal and can bolster property values. They inspire kids’ imaginations and support healthy play. They make a homegrown neighborhood hangout, ideal for spending time together.

Thursday 09/20/2018
Explore Australia's largest and undiscovered fringing reef
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:42 am

(BPT) - Where do the red and orange hues of Australia’s iconic outback meet white sand beaches and turquoise blue water? Where can you walk off the shore and instantly experience pristine coral reef during a special drift snorkel? It’s where the best marine encounters in the world are part of everyday life. Western Australia’s Ningaloo Reef, along the stunning Coral Coast, is one of the region’s best-kept secrets.

This Season the Hygge Design Trend is Back and Bold
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:39 am

(BPT) - Last year, the Scandinavian concept of Hygge took the interior design stage by storm with people around the world flocking to buy cozy blankets and sheepskin throws. This year, Noa Santos, interior co-founder of interior design company Homepolish says that hygge has experienced a rebirth and visually has become the elevated, bolder enhancement of last year’s concept. It’s about purposeful design choices that stand out and speak for themselves, and not shying away from bold design decisions to make home an oasis of coziness.

Wednesday 09/19/2018
Chemical conundrum: 5 ways to keep pesticides away from your kids
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:41 am

(BPT) - As pesticides continue to be used on crops, in landscaping and in consumer products, many Americans are becoming more concerned about the effect of such chemicals on our children.

Tuesday 09/18/2018
5 steps to protect your home from rodents this fall
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:40 am

(BPT) - Once they’re inside, rats and other rodents can do a lot of harm to your home. This includes damage to electrical wiring, metal or plastic pipes and insulation found in walls and attics. On top of structural damage, the critters aren’t good for the people who live in your home, either: Some species of mice and rats can transmit diseases like hantavirus through their urine and droppings.

Monday 09/17/2018
Making it count: 5 tips for choosing a health plan
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:39 am

(BPT) - This fall millions will head to the polls to cast their vote in the mid-term elections, but they have another important choice to make as well: their health care coverage for 2019.

10 ways to beef up your tailgating game
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:40 am

(BPT) - The leaves are turning, the temperature is dropping and tailgaters are coming out in droves to support their favorite team — but more importantly, show off their grilling skills with beef as the star of the show. Tailgaters young and old converge in the wee hours of the morning outside stadiums across the country to share in the revelry of game day. Pre-game hours are spent in parking lots playing bean bag toss, connecting with friends, and setting up and eating a spread of food.

Friday 09/14/2018
Know a youth volunteer? Awards deadline is Nov. 6
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:41 am

Thursday 09/13/2018
Things to know if you have COPD
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:39 am

(BPT) - COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a serious lung disease that affects more than 15 million Americans and is the third leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What does the shortfall of truck drivers mean for the economy?
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:41 am

(BPT) - To truly understand the impact the trucking industry has on our economy, walk into any business, retail shop or grocery store and take a look around. Nearly everything you see was delivered there by a truck. In fact, according to the American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) Freight Transportation Forecast, 70 percent of all freight in the U.S. is handled by trucks. It is awe-inspiring to realize one industry has such an enormous impact on everything we do, purchase and consume in our everyday lives. Quite simply, trucks keep America moving, and without them, America stops.

Wednesday 09/12/2018
30-minute Mediterranean meals with grapes
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:40 am

(BPT) - With the onset of fall, new schedules and an invigorating pace, eating nourishing meals is an important way to keep up energy levels. With few having the time to devote to cooking an elaborate meal, a collection of delicious and dependable 30-minute recipes for a quick but satisfying meal can be handy. What else keeps things simple? Having fresh staples such as California table grapes on hand helps brighten up any recipe and fuel up after activities.

The truth behind food labels
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:41 am

(BPT) - When we visit the grocery store, we’ve become accustomed to a dizzying array of options. There are labels touting everything from food safety to environmental and ethical standards. Making the best decision for your family, your health and the good of the planet is important, but how can you possibly keep track of what all these labels really mean?

How to spot and treat 4 common children's health Issues
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:40 am

(BPT) - From a cough that won’t go away to a sore throat they caught from the classroom, children and their vulnerable immune systems can fall victim to common illnesses quicker and more often than adults. However, while these health issues are typical, it is not always easy to identify what they are when symptoms strike.

Choose wisely: Complete vs. incomplete proteins
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:40 am

(BPT) - Now that more people are aware of the health benefits of eating protein — and the effectiveness of low-carb diets — they’re increasingly seeking ways to enjoy that nutritional powerhouse in their daily diets.

How to properly store summer clothes to avoid a pest infestation
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:41 am

(BPT) - As colder weather approaches, you may decide to store some of your summer clothes. However, when warmer temperatures roll around again, you might not find those shorts and tank tops exactly as you left them. Certain insects that feed on fabrics and textiles can leave your carefully stored clothing damaged and full of holes. But don’t despair! Your shirts aren’t necessarily doomed. With some tips from Terminix, you can learn what kinds of bugs damage fabric and how you can best protect your outfits in storage.

Tuesday 09/11/2018
Give pets the ultimate mealtime experience
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:40 am

(BPT) - Dogs and their owners have many things in common. For example, they both love to eat! When preparing a meal for your four-legged family members, make sure it’s packed with flavor and nutrients, and you are creating a dining experience they enjoy and look forward to. Help give your pets the ultimate mealtime experience with these tips:

Monday 09/10/2018
Regular eye checkups key to cognitive health
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:41 am

(BPT) - Regular eye exams have always been an important part of maintaining healthy vision, but it turns out they can help keep your brain healthy, too. New research is revealing just how connected eye health and brain health are, and how receiving regular eye treatment might mean the difference between a healthy brain and cognitive decline.

Thursday 09/06/2018
Why probiotics are good for your health
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:41 am

(BPT) - According to probiotic entrepreneur Heather Holmes, the human body naturally contains trillions of good and bad bacteria that must stay in balance for optimal health.

3 common triggers for elevated vaginal pH and why it matters
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:40 am

(BPT) - Many women do not realize the vagina is an ecosystem that requires a balanced environment to remain healthy; and events like menstruation, sex and hormonal changes can throw off that balance.

Want better workplace results? Research says take it outside
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:41 am

(BPT) - From standing desks and team-building events to onsite services and remote work opportunities, companies have adapted over the years to adopt new solutions that will grow their company, improve employee retention and increase productivity.

Wednesday 09/05/2018
Uncommon - but important - baby safety steps
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:39 am

Your eyes as you age: Tips to help reduce the risk of Age-related Macular Degeneration
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:41 am

(BPT) - Aging is a fact of life, so it’s important to understand how our health may be impacted as we get older — and our eyes are no exception. Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss in people age 50 and older and affects 1 in 5 people over the age of 65. The condition is characterized by changes in the macula, which is the part of the eye required for central vision, allowing us to see objects straight ahead of us.

How a healthy gut can be good for your well-being
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:41 am

(BPT) - Whether it’s eating too many slices of pizza or constantly getting takeout, most of us have slipped on our good eating habits at one time or another. But is avoiding unhealthy foods enough to keep our bodies in top shape?

Tuesday 09/04/2018
Using Land in lieu of A Mortgage Down Payment
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:40 am

(BPT) - Sponsored Ad Content from Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, Inc.

Friday 08/31/2018
National Medicare Education Week: Get ready for Medicare Annual Enrollment with these online resources
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:40 am

(BPT) - Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period is almost here — the time (Oct. 15 to Dec. 7) when people can make changes to their Medicare coverage for the year ahead.

Wednesday 08/29/2018
7 Dip Recipes to Make This Fall
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:40 am

(BPT) - Sponsored By Cape Cod® Potato Chips

New home? 6 steps for preventing pests from moving in
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:40 am

(BPT) - Moving into a new home is chaotic. You’ve got decorating to do, a neighborhood to explore, and a house to keep in tiptop shape. The last thing you need in the midst of all that commotion is the added headache of household pests like ants, cockroaches or rodents. With a few tips from Terminix, you can keep your move running smoothly and ensure no unexpected pests move in with you.

7 healthy, kid-approved lunchbox ideas
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:39 am

(BPT) - Kids' school days are packed with learning, laughing and lots of fun. To get the most out their time in class, it's important their bodies and minds are properly fueled. Packing a healthy lunch is on of the easiest ways parents can support their child's education during the day while they can't be there. Healthy foods keep distracting hunger pangs at bay while providing important nutrients to support focus and learning.

Dialysis, transplants and endless ambition: Nurse's path from patient to provider
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:41 am

(BPT) - When Fallon Bell was only 19 years old, she was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, the same disease that both her mother and aunt lived with. Chronic kidney disease, or CKD, is when a person’s kidneys no longer provide the function of filtering toxins from the blood. Shortly after her CKD diagnosis, Bell began dialysis, which performed the function of her kidneys. Dialysis is a necessary, life-saving treatment when the kidneys are no longer able to function, but can be demanding because patients usually require treatment three times a week, four hours at a time.

Most people are eating the right amount of salt
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:41 am

(BPT) - More research seems to be contradicting the oft-stated notion that we eat too much salt. The latest such study appeared in The Lancet, one of the oldest and most prestigious medical journals. The study found that for the vast majority of people there is no health benefit from a low-salt diet and no harm from the average salt consumption of most people around the globe today.

Tuesday 08/28/2018
Don't have time to walk and meditate? Try them together
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:40 am

(BPT) - The mental and physical merits of walking are well established, from helping ward off depression to preventing heart disease. Meditation, likewise, can help reduce anxiety symptoms and improve sleep quality. Have you considered combining these seemingly very different activities?

5 ways play and learning go hand-in-hand
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:40 am

(BPT) - Children are hard-wired to play. However, busy schedules, homework, classes and structured activities like sports and dance classes can often get in the way of allowing kids to feel free to express that natural behavior.

Remake your bathroom with these luxurious hotel-inspired trends
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:41 am

(BPT) - Life can get hectic. While it is easy to become overwhelmed with busy schedules and everyday challenges, it is important to carve out personal time for relaxation and renewal. The practice of self-care and personal wellness is becoming a trend on the rise.

5 tips to help party guests feel welcome
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:40 am

(BPT) - At this time of year there is plenty to celebrate, and any celebration is best done with a collection of your closest friends. So, who’s up for a party? You are. Your house is ready, the food is prepped and your guests should be showing up any minute. When they do, you want them to have the best time possible and that starts by making them feel comfortable.

Monday 08/27/2018
3 tips to make meal prep into an enjoyable family activity
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:39 am

(BPT) - We all love sitting down together for a hot meal. Unfortunately, preparing the meal itself turns into a chore that usually falls to one family member (Mom).

Opioid crisis illuminates the need to see pain medicine specialists
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:39 am

(BPT) - The opioid crisis has made physicians increasingly wary about prescribing the potentially addictive drugs to their patients in pain. But there is a silver lining — experts in pain medicine, such as physician anesthesiologists, can create individualized pain management plans that include alternatives to opioids that are not only safer, but often work better.

Friday 08/24/2018
Battling back-to-school pest problems
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:40 am

(BPT) - A new school year means backpacks stuffed with school supplies and the return to classrooms. It also means an increased chance of your child encountering pests or unknowingly bringing them home. From sweaty locker rooms to classroom floors riddled with food scraps, schools provide a whole host of tempting places where pests like insects and rodents may be. The experts at Terminix have a few pointers on common pests your young scholar may come into contact with while at school and how to limit interaction with them.

Thursday 08/23/2018
3 reasons fall is a great time for roofing
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:40 am

(BPT) - Cool breezes and falling leaves are around the corner, and for many parts of the country those telltale signs of fall signal the best possible season for roofing.

Wednesday 08/22/2018
What does the color of your home reveal about you?
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:40 am

(BPT) - A home’s curb appeal leaves a powerful first impression. Yet, according to the recent poll conducted by Ply Gem Building Products, only half of homeowners say their home’s exterior reflects their personality. This is an especially surprising statistic since 81 percent of Americans say the exterior of a home shapes their view of the homeowner.

Tuesday 08/21/2018
7 surprising benefits of doing jigsaw puzzles
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:41 am

(BPT) - There's a quiet movement going on in this country, and it doesn't involve apps, data or the latest fad. Following the lead of vinyl record albums, coloring books and traditional board games, jigsaw puzzles are seeing a resurgence in popularity. Perhaps, because it's an opportunity to unplug and give yourself and family an escape from the information overload that is buzzing through the very fabric of our lives 24/7.

Monday 08/20/2018
The making of the mobile man cave for football tailgate season
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:40 am

(BPT) - It’s football time, and many Americans are making the annual pilgrimage to man caves forged in living rooms, basements or garages. There, fans hunker down for hours in the extreme comforts of recliners, snacks and drinks, and of course, mega-sized TV screens.

Saturday 08/18/2018
Three tax savings strategies for a secure retirement to try right now
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:41 am

(BPT) - Individuals who rushed to prepay property taxes after the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act may have saved some money in 2018 — but that’s pennies compared to the long-term tax savings taxpayers should take advantage of before the TCJA’s individual tax provisions are expected to expire in 2026, according to Robert Fishbein, vice president and corporate counsel at Prudential Financial.

Friday 08/17/2018
5 back-to-school tips for parents with young athletes
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:40 am

(BPT) - The transition between summer and going back to school can be tough, especially for families with student athletes who are participating in fall sports. Whether your athletes are in high school or grade school, it’s difficult to balance schoolwork, practice, games, proper nutrition and rest. Mitzi Dulan, registered dietitian and nutrition consultant to professional athletes, has some great tips on how to help your child eat adequate, nutritious foods for their best performance in the classroom and on the field.

Thursday 08/16/2018
Four simple ways to tune up your nutrition and live healthier longer
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:40 am

(BPT) - Just about everyone feels like they could use a little extra pep in their day, that surge of energy to get things done and enjoy their favorite activities. This is especially true as we age.

Good gut gone bad: The C. diff Invasion
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:41 am

(BPT) - Trillions of bacteria, viruses and other tiny organisms — called "microbes" — live inside our bodies and make up a community known as the microbiome. The diversity of microbes is like a rainforest in our gut, helping us digest food and keep diseases at bay. Like bulldozing a rainforest, taking antibiotics can sometimes destroy that microbial landscape and allow dangerous bacteria like Clostridium difficile to take over.

Wednesday 08/15/2018
Take control of your personal information
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:40 am

(BPT) - Understanding and managing your personal information is essential to achieving your life goals such as owning a home, financing an education, getting your next job or simply having the convenience of credit cards for everyday purchases.

A child's wish to help save lives
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:41 am

(BPT) - This past July marks one year for Jack. Just one year ago, the 15-year-old was unable to go outside — he was bound to his home because of his blood disorder. He missed time with friends, school and sports. A bone marrow donation was his only hope, but matches sometimes aren’t easy to find, particularly for those of Asian heritage. So, Jack waited patiently — nine months to be exact — until thankfully a match was found.

6 simple tips to prevent a fall
Updated: September 22, 2018 - 4:40 am

(BPT) - Overwhelmingly, people say that they want to stay independent and in their own home as they age. One way to ensure they can is to learn about fall risks and make changes to reduce their chances of falling. Because, while one in four older adults falls each year, there are ways to be prepared for the changes of aging in order to prevent falls.

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