a product message image
{' '} {' '}
Limited time offer
SAVE % on your upgrade

Page 1


table of contents

3

Choose a HVAC Company

4

Choose a The Right Mortgage Lender

6

Choose a Pharmacy

8

Choose a Child Care Provider

10

Choose a Health Care Provider

12

Choose a RV Dealer or a RV Repair Company

14

Choose an ATRA Transmission Repair Professional or an Auto Repair Shop

16

Buy Auto Insurance through Local Car Insurance Agents

18

Choose a Jeweler

20

How to Properly Diagnose Macular Degeneration

22

Choose a Family Dentist

24

Choose a University

26

Choose a Physical Therapist

27

Select The Right Insurance Agent

28

Choose an Auto Body Shop

29

Select the Havre as a Home

30

Choose The Right Home

31

Choose an Assisted Living Facility

How-To Guide is published by the Havre Daily News

32

Choose a Real Estate Agent

33

Choose a Musical Instrument

Publisher / Stacy Mantle Advertising Director / Jenn Thompson

34

Choose a Bookstore

35

Choose a Property Manager

2

www.havredailynews.com

March 2020


How to Choose a HVAC Company When your heating or air conditioning system fails, it can be a nightmare. Whether it is a cold winter day or sweltering hot outside, the HVAC system in your home is vital to your comfort and safety. Most people cannot tolerate extreme temperatures. The elderly and people with chronic health problems need to have the temperature stabilized in their homes. Prolong the life of your HVAC system and prevent equipment failure by hiring a qualified professional to service and maintain it. The best HVAC contractors are helpful and reliable, but a poor contractor can cost you extra money and heartache. Ask people in your social network whom they might recommend. Good word of mouth will go a long way toward helping you find the best professionals in your area. After creating a list of candidates, call the Better Business Bureau, your state’s board of contractors or builders’ association to check on their reputations. Your town’s building inspection office may also have information for you. Avoid companies who have many complaints on their record. Upon narrowing the list, call the remaining ones and ask about pricing, guarantees

March 2020

and warranties. Also inquire about how long it would take to complete a job and the manufacturers’ brands they use. If you are purchasing new equipment, find out if you need a separate service contractor or if routine maintenance and repairs are included in the price of installation. Does the company provide around-the-clock emergency service? High quality HVAC companies are fully licensed, bonded and insured. If a worker is injured or causes damage to your property, that insurance should cover it. Otherwise, you could be liable for the damages. Your insurance premiums would likely increase as a result. Reputable HVAC companies will usually belong to recognized professional and trade organizations. Some well-known organizations include the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute, and the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and AirConditioning Engineers. Membership in one of these organizations is not automatic. Applicants are required to have certain certifications, meet professional standards and meet or exceed other requirements before they are

admitted. Before any work begins, verify that all the required building permits are in place. Most companies will file permits on your behalf at the local building codes office. But don’t assume that it has happened. Check with the permitting office first. Work done without proper permits could result in a fine and time delay. Have a load calculation done before installing a new system in any building. The best companies perform a thorough calculation rather than estimate. Buildings change over time due to foundations cracking or settling. It will affect the efficiency of any equipment. The HVAC company shouldn’t use the old unit to determine the proper size of a new one. If your old unit was inadequate, you will want to install a unit that is a different size. Speak with your HVAC installer to determine the right size and model for you. Ask your HVAC contractor to perform annual checkups to verify that the unit is running at peak efficiency. With these tips, you can choose a reliable HVAC business that will help you for years to come.

www.havredailynews.com

3


How to Choose... The Right Mortgage Lender Once you have found the home of your dreams, most buyers want to close the deal as soon as possible. But finding the right mortgage lender can be time-consuming. The key is to take as much time as necessary to do things properly. You must also make sure you are dealing with quality lenders. Lenders with excellent customer service can make things go smoothly. But if your lender is only concerned with his or her bottom line or making extra money on selling loan products, use caution. The best mortgage professionals are knowledgable about their loan products. They are willing to spend as much time as possible to explain them to you. They take pride in guiding you through what could be a confusing process. They keep your best interests and financial priorities in mind. Do some advance research on your loan options prior to meeting a mortgage professional. It will help you determine whether he or she is truly concerned about your needs. Basic knowledge about the financing process will help you make a sound assessment about a mortgage lender's skills and abilities. PURCHASER'S RIGHTS The mountain of forms, declarations and even financial terminology can be daunting to inexperienced homebuyers. It is always smart to exercise care during the home-buying pro-

4

cess. Understand what you are signing and any obligations you are assuming. A signature is a permanent commitment. Some buyers may have a very short time to back out. Otherwise, they are liable for what is in the document. Even if you back out during that short period, you will likely forfeit deposits because you broke the deal. You might also owe an additional amount based on the total of the initial mortgage payment. Extra costs can be avoided if you take time when signing all agreements. If a lender is rushing you through paperwork and pressuring you to sign the form, he is not doing his job properly. Your best interests are likely to be neglected.

COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR LENDER The best mortgage lenders will focus on understanding your long-range financial goals. They will ask you how long you intend to remain in this new home. Your answers will help him find the best mortgage products to suit your needs. It is a red flag if a lender fails to ask you this type of question. SEEK LOCAL LENDERS Seeking out a mortgage lender in your community is the best option. Interest rates vary on a daily basis. A local lender will know the rapid changes happening in the community's housing market. They will understand how these changes

www.havredailynews.com

may affect you. Local lenders can monitor your loan application closely, as they will be more accessible to answer any questions you may have. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF PERSONAL REFERRALS Ask your friends and family about their experience with mortgage lenders. They may be comfortable recommending the same professionals they used for their home loans. Word-of-mouth is often the best way to identify quality professionals in your area. Once you have a list of possibilities, verify their backgrounds so you will be confident in their ability to help you.

March 2020


March 2020

www.havredailynews.com

5


How to Choose a... Pharmacy Health and wellness are central components to living a rounded, stress-free life. When the need for medication or health-care advice arises, being able to depend on a good pharmacy is one way to alleviate the added pressures of being sick or injured. Find a pharmacy nearby that accepts your insurance, stocks a large supply of inventory to fill prescriptions quickly, offers ample over-the-counter medications, and provides additional, reliable recommendations and suggestions that aid in the recovery process. Some key questions to ask when choosing a pharmacist include: • Does the pharmacist take time to answer your questions in a manner that you understand? • Does the pharmacist tell you about each new medication and explain such things has how and when to take the medication and what you can and cannot take with it? • Does the pharmacist show concern for you and your family? • Does the pharmacist recommend vitamins or supplements to take or tell you which one you should NOT take with your prescriptions? If your current pharmacist does not meet your needs or does not take the necessary time to make sure that you understand your medications, visit other pharmacies and ask if the pharmacist has any special certifications or training. Find out if the pharmacy has any special services that they can offer you such as demonstrating a new inhaler. See if you can find a pharmacist that is easy to talk to, yet shows concern and is able to explain what you need to know as a consumer of both prescription medications and vitamin supplements. WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A PHARMACY: Where your family pharmacist works should also be an important consideration when deciding how to meet your medication needs. Most people taking medications patronize a pharmacy. Convenience

6

is an important issue with all of the time pressures that people feel these days. The pharmacy should be in a convenient location with convenient parking nearby. If you are unable to get to the pharmacy, the pharmacy should make sure that your prescriptions are mailed to your home or delivered to your home or work. Having the ability to open a charge account or have a credit card kept on file for charging prescriptions is a convenient feature, especially when you are on a trip or someone else is picking up the prescription for you. The pharmacy may offer special services that set them apart from the other pharmacies. You might be interested in special packaging to make it easier to remember to take your medications. If you have diabetes, finding a pharmacy that can demonstrate several glucose monitors to find which one works best for you can make testing your blood sugar easier. It is a good idea to get all of your medications (prescription and over-thecounter) filled at a single pharmacy. The pharmacy keeps a complete list of medications that you are currently taking, any health problems you may have, and drug allergies that you have told the pharmacist about. By having a single pharmacy, your pharmacist will be able to continuously update your patient profile-making sure it is always accurate. This allows your pharmacist to avoid any problems or drug

www.havredailynews.com

interactions in the future. With a little effort, you should be able to find a pharmacy that will be your partner in your goal of living a healthful life.

Services • Medication reviews • Diabetes products and services • Email and text message refill reminders

Products & Specialties • Broad availability of brand and generic prescription medications • Private-label, over-the-counter medications • Pharmacist counseling

March 2020


March 2020

www.havredailynews.com

7


How to Choose a... Child Care Provider Choosing a child care provider is one of the most important decisions families make. The first five years are a critical period of growth and development. Families are children’s first and most important teachers. High quality early childhood care and education programs build a foundation for success in school and in life. Reliable child care provides parents with the opportunity to work and support their families. Choosing Quality Child Care Start Early! Finding the best child care for your family takes time. There are many types of programs to meet the diverse needs of families such as Center, Family, Group, After School, Preschool, Drop-in, and Family/Friend/Neighbor Care. High quality child care programs have the following qualifications: Best Beginnings STARS to Quality Program: A voluntary quality rating improvement system that aligns quality indicators with support and incentives for early childhood programs and professionals. This quality improvement program promotes strong early childhood education in Montana. Accreditation: Quality programs are accredited by a national organization such as The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) or the National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC). Licensing and Registration: Centers, Group, Family and Family/Friend/Neighbor Care are required to be licensed, registered or certified. For more information go to: http://dphhs.mt.gov/qad/Licensure/Become-a-Child-Care-Provider Adult to Child Ratios Center: 13+ children based on ages of children and square footage of facility Group: 2 adults care for 7- 12 children with a limit of 6 under 2 years Family Home: Up to 6 children with a limit of 3 under 2 years Family/Friend/Neighbor: all the children in one family or 2 unrelated children 5 Steps to Finding Help with Child Care 1. Contact Family Connections about financial assistance to help pay for child care with the Best Beginnings Child Care Scholarship http://dphhs.mt.gov/hcsd/ ChildCare/BestBeginningsScholarships 2. Contact Family Connections for FREE profiles of child care providers that meet the needs of your family. https://familyconnectionsmt.org/families/referral-program 3. Check online for complaints and licensing violations for potential child care providers. http://dphhs.mt.gov/qad/Licensure/LBCCL 4. Contact potential child care providers to schedule a visit, observe the program, and ask questions. Ask for a list of references and follow-up by contacting the references. 5. Stay actively involved with regular visits, frequent communication and by participating in activities in your child care program. Research shows that high quality early childhood care and education helps to build a strong academic foundation and life skills that promote healthy life choices and economic opportunity.

8

www.havredailynews.com

Child Care Checklist: Caregivers & Teachers o Develop positive relationships with children o Get down on child’s level when speaking o Greet children when they arrive o Quickly meet child’s needs even when busy o Involved in continuing education programs o Always ready to answer questions o Update parents on child’s daily activities o Welcome parent’s ideas and involvement o Staff and children enjoy being together o Meet child-to-staff ratios for each age group Setting o Bright, clean and pleasant environment o Adequate space for each activity o Securely fenced outdoor play area o Variety of safe play equipment o Play areas easily viewed by staff at all times o Separate areas for resting, quiet and active play Activities o Age appropriate activities, toys and books o Daily balance of play, story, and nap times o Structured and unstructured play times o Healthy food, snacks and physical exercise o Variety of toys and learning materials Child Care Checklist o You agree with the discipline practices o You hear the sounds of happy children o Children are comforted as needed o The provider is licensed and regulated o The provider has a list of family references o The provider has procedures for emergencies o Regularly practices fire drills and evacuations o Surprise visits by parents are encouraged o You agree with the policies and philosophy o Acconnodates children with special needs Warning Signs o All parent visits must be planned in advance o There are few planned activities or guidance o The child care is not licensed or registered o Staff are not trained in CPR and First Aid o Staff have not completed background checks o Too many children for proper supervision o Physically rough, abusive or yell at children o Licensing deficiencies for Health and Safety

March 2020


March 2020

www.havredailynews.com

9


How to Choose a... Health Care Provider Choosing the right health care provider is one of the most important decisions you will make regarding your health. When you are looking for a provider you want to find one you are comfortable with, inspires trust, and works with you to improve your overall health and well-being. The doctor or health care provider you choose will depend upon your needs. Some providers, such as family practitioners, are trained to handle the broadspectrum medical concerns of patients of all ages. Specialties, such as pediatricians or mental health providers, address the needs of more limited groups, in this case, children or behavioral health needs, respectively. If your health conditions are more complex, you may need to be seen by more than one type of provider. Your primary medical provider will work with you to complete your recommended health screenings, treat acute illnesses, manage your chronic condition(s), and refer you to other types of providers as needed. Sometimes people face difficult situations in life and need care from qualified behavioral health professionals. From mental health to substance use disorders, the need for behavioral health care is common for people of all ages. Behavioral health deals with a myriad of issues that are often treated with a multidisciplinary approach. A team-based approach can help with social aspects of

10

behavioral issues, such as social workers, therapists, addiction counselors, care managers, nurses, and your health care provider. A good treatment facility will be able to utilize a team of professionals to treat the whole person from multiple angles for the most successful results. During your search for a provider, you will want to look for one that has the training and background to meet your specific needs. Every person has unique health needs and those needs change as you age. Family, friends and co-workers are often a reliable source for information about the personality and skills of a provider. The people in your life who know you best can help recommend a provider who will compliment your personality and meet your needs and expectations. Quality providers will always encourage you to ask questions, participate in your health care, listen to you, explain things in a way you understand, treat you with respect, and help alleviate fears surrounding your well-being. Don't hesitate to ask a lot of questions. Finding the right match is crucial to establishing a good relationship and getting the most out of your health care.

www.havredailynews.com

March 2020


March 2020

www.havredailynews.com

11


How to Choose a... Recreational Vehicle Dealer Purchasing a recreational vehicle can be a fun experience, but it can also feel overwhelming. It is more complicated than buying car. After talking with a dealer, many first timers sometimes end up with more questions than answers. With some research and help from other RV owners, you can find an RV that is right for you. Your first step in purchasing an RV is to ask yourself what you would like to do in your recreational vehicle. Are you using it to travel the country? What sizes and styles do you prefer? Are you partial to purchasing a new or used RV? Consult resources to answer these questions. Use the Internet to browse RV brands and styles. There are numerous message boards for RV owners that contain useful information. The best way to learn about recreational vehicles is to speak with owners themselves. If people in your social network own an RV, ask about their vehicle. Look

through the interior, examine various options so you can understand what is available. Another factor is size. If you are only planning to use it sporadically, then size might not be an issue. But if you plan on living out of the vehicle for extended periods of time, then a larger RV may be more comfortable. Some RV parks have restrictions on size, so be sure to verify what sizes are generally acceptable. Additional features can make your ride enjoyable. Think about whether you would like a full-service kitchen or plasma TV. Choose items that would make your trip as comfortable as possible. Once you have become more acquainted with the marketplace, start visiting RV dealers. After all your research, you should be able to speak with the salespeople clearly and confidently. If you plan on purchasing a new RV, look for a dealer who offers a factory warranty. Potential RV buyers don't usually think

to ask for a used vehicle report. However, you should know the history of your used RV before purchasing it, as it could have had extensive damage. Incentives such as free upgrades or a good financing rate may be enticing, but you should always be skeptical about the deal that comes with them. Try to bring a fellow RV owner with you to the dealership. Most people are happy to share their thoughts and experiences with you. It is a good way to ensure you are getting a fair deal. The best dealers have an on-site service department or contracts with reputable RV repair shops. Some RV repairs are specialized and different from regular vehicles. You will need a service shop that will accept your warranty in the event your RV is ever damaged. With a little effort and time, you will find a fantastic deal on an RV best suited for your needs. Then, you can spend time in your vehicle enjoying the scenery.

How to Choose a Recreational Vehicle Repair Company Recreational vehicles are a fantastic way to travel around the country. There will be no need to pay for hotels. You can create your own schedule and drive where you like. But RVs also require maintenance and repairs. When you need to fix or maintain your vehicle, it is essential that you deal with a professional repair company. You will need experienced and excellent customer service. After all, your RV is an enormous investment. Don't trust it to just anyone.

Specialized Experience

Find someone who specializes in RV repair. Don't make the mistake of thinking ordinary mechanics can do it. They might be able to handle basic repairs -- most engines are similar, after all. But it is much better to find a company with the right tools and experience to handle an RV. Some models require specialized equipment or expertise to do the job right. Whenever possible, choose a mechanic who knows your specific make and RV model. They will be familiar with problems and glitches that you may encounter on

12

your RV. They will also look for mechanical issues you may not have noticed, as well as give you advice on future performance. The best mechanics will fix problems before they become major issues. Of course, the repair company should have the facilities to match your RV. Class 1 motorhomes require big repair bays and lifts similar to 18-wheeler garages.

Customer Service

The best RV repair companies remember the customer is always the boss. Their hours should fit your needs. The ability to drop off or retrieve your RV after work will be a huge help if you maintain a busy schedule. While location matters, your priority should be to find a quality RV repair professional. You might have to drive a long way to get there. Finding a top-notch professional is more important than convenience.

Try Them Out

When you think you've found a quality RV repair specialist, try them out. It's much better to have this person do minor maintenance or upkeep rather than wait until

www.havredailynews.com

your RV has broken down. When you take your RV for a tune-up or oil change, take note of their service. Do they leave the motorhome clean? Do they finish jobs on time? Do they stick with their estimated cost and call you before doing extra work? Their performance on routine jobs will indicate what you can expect when your RV needs a major overhaul in the future.

Extra Services The repair shop may provide extra services. Don't be afraid to inquire about them. For example, some RV repair companies can upgrade your cabin with better materials or modern technology. Maybe you need a flat-screen TV to replace your old set, or your refrigerator has stopped working. It will be a relief for you to know that there is a company that can handle interior issues as well as heavy mechanical problems. By taking the time now, you can find an RV repair company that will keep looking and driving great for years to come.

March 2020


March 2020

www.havredailynews.com

13


How to Choose an... ATRA Transmission Repair Professional With members across the US and Canada, ATRA’s network of automatic transmission repair professionals can offer you repair and warranty coverage anywhere you’re likely to drive. Because, wherever you go there’s always an ATRA member nearby. Every ATRA Rebuilder Member must adhere to ATRA’s Code of Ethics…ATRA’s standards for providing honest, professional service. So, when you take your car to an ATRA Rebuilder Member, you’re assured of polite, professional service, at an honest price. And not just automatic transmission repair: most ATRA Rebuilder Members also provide diagnostic and repair service for manual transmissions, clutches, differentials, driveshafts, drive axles, and transfer cases. The Rebuilder Members of ATRA agree that while they remain members of the Association, they will practice the pledges of the Association code of Ethics: that they will adhere to the Service and Repair definitions which are part of the ATRA By-Laws; that they will subscribe to the Guarantee Standards which are shown herein; and that they will practice the Advertising standards of the association as per the following: THE ATRA CODE OF ETHICS AND MEMBER PLEDGE For Rebuilder Members of the Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association As members of ATRA, we pledge to ourselves and to each other to diagnose transmission problems for customers and for each other in an expert and honest

manner, and to state that the removal of a transmission from a vehicle in correction of its problems is necessary, only when this is the case. • We further pledge to provide prompt and courteous in-car diagnosis on behalf of customers of other member shops free of charge (Members may assess a charge up to one (1) hour of diagnostic time for electronic testing and scanning based on the current Golden Rule rate provided the charge is agreed to in advance by the warranting Member). • We further pledge to act with integrity, and to speak at all times in a responsible manner, and in all ways to adhere to the concept of the Golden Rule in our dealings with the motoring public and with our competitors of industry. • We further pledge ourselves to the promotion and improvement of the automatic transmission service and repair industry through maintaining the highest standards for parts and workmanship quality at our places of business. • We further pledge ourselves to the continual training and retraining of ourselves and our employees, in order to keep abreast of the constant changes in the state of the art of our industry. • We pledge to have ourselves and our employees tested and certified on a continuing basis in such a manner as will demonstrate the ATRA member shops are staffed with capable personnel. • We finally pledge that such transmission assemblies as we represent to the consuming public and to other members as “rebuild”, will have been re-processed according to the Association Rebuilding

Standards and Definitions as outlined in these By-Laws. Many general repair shops are getting into the transmission repair business by offering to install “reman” transmissions. What is a reman? A reman is a transmission that’s been remanufactured in a factory setting, and shipped to the repair shop to be installed as a complete unit. Is it okay to buy a reman? That’s a pretty broad question. The answer depends on the quality of the reman itself. Some are very high quality; others less so. More important than the reman itself, however, is the shop or technician performing the diagnosis. Remember: Many cars with transmission problems don’t actually need a new transmission. And, if your car doesn’t need a new transmission, you shouldn’t pay for one. But if the technician performing the diagnosis doesn’t have the skill or experience with your car’s transmission, you might easily find yourself paying for a new transmission… whether you need one or not. If the reman transmission still doesn’t work, the reman companies have technicians on staff to help the shop work through the actual problem. So your car will probably shift just fine when you get it back. The only question then is: Was the problem you had really in the transmission? Or did you pay for a transmission you didn’t really need? Only a qualified, professional transmission technician can diagnose your car reliably, and tell you for certain whether you actually need a rebuilt transmission, or whether a much less expensive repair will take care of the problem.

How to Choose an Auto Repair Shop Get referrals from family, friends and co-workers. Check the local Better Business Bureau for information on complaints filed, how many (if any) and the shop's record of resolving problems. Visit the shop. Observe the cleanliness, lighting, organization and the condition of the equipment. Investigate the mechanics' certification. Ask if they are certified and in what area. Mechanics may be certified by a car manufacturer or a general organization such as the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). Look for a mechanic with valid credentials, proper training and experience working on your

14

car model. Know if they are qualified to do different types of services such as electrical and brake systems. Some auto repair workers are only qualified to do oil changes. Inquire about the types of customer service benefits the shop provides. Some may offer rental cars onsite, loaner cars or a shuttle to and from work while your car is being repaired. Ask if they have evening and weekend hours. Pick a repair shop authorized to perform repairs under your warranty, if your car has one. Establish a working relationship with the repair shop. The best time to pick a shop is before you need one. Preventive

www.havredailynews.com

maintenance is less costly than repairing a major malfunction. Start with something "small" like an oil change or a check-up on one of your car's systems. Some shops offer free brake checks or free air conditioning system checks. Compare pricing for general services such as brakes, air conditioning checks and tune-ups. These fees can vary widely, but they will give you an idea of whether the shop you're considering falls in the average price range. Consider chains as well as independently owned shops. Request references from satisfied customers.

March 2020


March 2020

www.havredailynews.com

15


How to Buy... Auto Insurance through local car Insurance Agents One of the most-quoted bits of advice about saving money on car insurance is to buy direct from insurance companies, but buying direct isn't always the best choice. There are many very good reasons to buy car insurance through a local auto insurance agent or broker. Some of those reasons include personal service and more choices. Understanding how car insurance sales work can help you better decide whether to buy car insurance through an insurance company or through a local auto insurance agent or broker. WHY BUY LOCAL? When you purchase your car insurance through a local agent or broker, you'll be working with someone who is familiar with your state and city, as well as the full offerings of the companies they represent. Local Agents Know the Local Risk Profile While a company representative in another city might have access to your state's insurance laws, a local agent knows your community and your specific needs. Because she works directly with drivers in your community, she knows the most common claims that come across her desk, which gives her a distinctly local - and very helpful - point of view about the types of insurance recommended for drivers in your city and your neighborhood.

16

What Consumers Can Do to Protect Themselves from This Unfair Practice: Safe drivers who are in accidents caused by others often see auto insurance rate hikes, according to research released by Consumer Federation of America. Consumers uncertain about whether their company would charge them for not-at-fault accidents in their state should ask their insurance agent or insurance company and, if they learn they would be surcharged, inform the agent they believe the practice to be very unfair. Also, inform the agent or insurer that you know a major national auto insurer that does not use such surcharges so their use is not necessary for pricing. It would also help if consumers made the same inquiry of and complaint to their state insurance department.

Your Local Agent Is There for You You've seen the television ads for the big companies, with local insurance agents showing up at the scene of the accident to dispense comfort and advice. While that's not a very realistic view of an agent's role, it's far closer to reality when you buy insurance through a local agent. Your local agent is in a position to offer a level of service you won't get from a voice on the phone on the other side of the country. You might find that: • Dealing directly with a car insurance agent will give you peace of mind. Many subscribers find comfort in dealing with a face rather than a computer screen when addressing questions about billing, claims, and policy issues.

• You can develop a working relationship with an agent, so you feel like a person rather than just a policy number. • An agent can better customize an insurance package based on your needs and assets. • If you're confused about policies, or are unsure about how much car insurance to carry, it can help to talk to an agent. TYPES OF AUTO INSURANCE AGENTS Before you choose a particular insurance agent, you should also understand the differences between types of insurance agents. In general, you'll encounter 3 types of agents: • Captive agents sell insurance for a single insurance provider. Because a captive

www.havredailynews.com

agent is appointed by only one company, he should know the ins and outs of the company and ways to save money. • Independent insurance agents sell policies for multiple companies. An independent agent can help you compare rates and coverage from many different insurers. • Insurance brokers are independent agents who sells insurance but not on behalf of an insurer. Brokers represent customers, not companies and may charge the customer a fee for their service. Have your information ready. You'll need your license and registration information, as well as some demographic information that will help the agent understand your needs. for more information visit www.dmv.org.

March 2020


March 2020

www.havredailynews.com

17


How to Choose a... Jeweler When it comes to choosing a jeweler, consumers have to weigh many different options and align their priorities effectively. Some consumers find this to be an especially difficult process, since there are so many jewelers on the market today and all of them seem to have some merit. Making the right choice requires one to not only know their own personal wants and needs, but also understand how the business works. There are some things that jewelers absolutely must offer their customers and without those things, a customer is really missing out. In short, individuals have found that choosing the right jeweler is about picking someone who is skilled, attentive and reasonable at the same time. In the jewelry business, skill is a key. Not all professionals are created equally, and some of them will have more ability than others. This makes it highly important to search around for a jeweler that has shown great skill time and time again. The best professionals are the ones that can create things with their hands, and they are the ones that can fix just about anything without too much of a problem. Individuals who find a jeweler with these skills will be happy with their results. The jewelry business is not all about skill and expertise, though. Much more than that, it is about how much a professional cares for his customers. When individual consumers make purchases, they should be getting more than just a ring or a necklace. Many people demand a personal relationship with their jeweler. This is something that can come in very handy, because that relationship will establish a trust factor. Some jewelry purchases are financially large and they come with a lot of sentimental value, too. This means that consumers will want to know that the jeweler is going to put together the best possible ring for them. For those who have worked with the same jeweler for a long

18

Purchasing Wedding Rings 1. Shop together. The engagement ring was the big surprise, but you should decide on wedding rings together. Many women already know what they want on their wedding ring, so sitting down and talking can help get both spouses on the same page. 2. Decide on matching or separate bands. It is possible to buy wedding rings together so they coordinate, but it is not absolutely necessary. For example, if a man is concerned with a ring appearing too effeminate he can get a different style from the woman.

time, it is possible to have complete faith in how the job will turn out. Those relationships cannot be forged without first choosing and working with a jeweler for a long time, though. Choosing a jeweler on the basis of price alone is not always the best idea. There are many jewelers on the market today that offer a solid price, but do not deliver in terms of quality or other important factors. Consumers should recognize that price is a major consideration, though. When choosing a jeweler, you want to know that he is going to give you the best deal possible and you'll want to know that you are not getting ripped off. Many reputable owners out there can provide this type of price assurance, while also providing a level of quality and service that is worth returning for. Ultimately choosing a jeweler is something that should be done after a long period of personal research. The good thing about the industry is that many solid options exist. The challenge is obviously deciding from among those different options, but with a focus on finding skilled, experienced, and attentive jewelers, this becomes less of a concern than it might have been before. Those individuals make a name for themselves in the industry, so figuring out who they are should not be too much of a challenge.

www.havredailynews.com

3. Match it to the engagement ring. Many people will wear their engagement ring and wedding band together. Having something to match it to will help you make your decision. You may want to visit the same jeweler you got the engagement ring from, or look into it when you are shopping for engagement rings. 4. Consider your lifestyle. Rings should adorn and accentuate your hands, not hinder them. If you use your hands a lot for manual labor and you do not want to scuff up your stone or damage your ring, consider a low setting or a hard stone. Conversely, if you live a life of leisure and you want to flaunt your luxurious diamond, get it set high and flashy and let it bling. 5. Choose a stone. You already know all about the 4 C's from buying the engagement ring (if not, check the resources box below), so you should be comfortable with buying a diamond. However, feel free to consider other stones. Look into the meanings of certain stones and the hardness. 6. Choose a band metal. The three most popular are yellow gold, white gold and platinum. White gold is popular because it coordinates with both silver and gold and is less expensive than platinum (which does the same, but is much stronger). Yellow gold is traditional, but be sure to look into the karats. Nine karat does not look as nice and will not hold up as well as 18 karat, but more karats means bigger price tag. 7. Look through catalogs. Once you have a general idea of what you want, leaf through a couple catalogs from different jewelers. This will help you figure out the price ranges as well as familiarize you with some good brand names. 8. Visit your trusted jeweler. Get some references and recommendations for a good jeweler and go down to the store to look at rings. Find a knowledgeable employee that can help address your questions and concerns.

March 2020


March 2020

www.havredailynews.com

19


How to.... Properly Diagnose Macular Degeneration Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is mainly an inherited disease and the leading cause of severe vision loss in people over age 50. AMD is a progressive disease that can destroy central vision, impairing the ability to perform everyday tasks such as reading, driving or watching television. Your genetic profile can account for over 60% of the risk of developing AMD. Having a first-degree relative (mother, father, brother, sister) with AMD significantly increases your risk. The Significant Role of Genetics Many new discoveries in technology and nutrition are proving beneficial for the AMD patient. Determining a patients genetic profile through DNA testing has shed light on the way we treat, manage and make nutritional recommendations to help preserve vision. Macula Risk and Vita Risk Macula Risk is a DNA test intended for patients who have a diagnosis of early or intermediate AMD. Combined with a routine clinical eye examination, results of the Macula Risk test will determine your risk of progression to advanced AMD with vision loss of 2, 5 and 10 years. Vita Risk is available as part of Macula Risk, or a stand-alone test. Test results help your eye care physician pre-

Patients Who Are at Increased Risk May Benefit From: • Treatment with a personalized preventive eye supplents. • Increased frequency of eye examinations. • Disease education and 'at- home; Amsler Grid testing. • Early diagnosis and treatment of 'Wet' AMD with effective therapies. • Other disease management strategies as determinded by the doctor.

If you are taking eye vitamins for AMD or you think that you or your family members may be a risk for AMD, talk to your eye care physician and discuss whether Macula Risk is right for you. scribe the safest and most effective eye vitamin formulation for you based on your genetic profile. The test is noninvasive swab of the inside of you mouth. These reports will help to establish personalized treatment that is right for you.

MAKE SURE TO SCHEDULE YOUR ANNUAL EYE EXAM Having an annual eye exam is crucial in protecting your and your family's eyesight. These annual exams allow your doctors to detect changes in the front of your eye so alterations can be made to your eyeglass or contact lens prescription. WHAT SHOULD I ASK MY EYE CARE PROFESSIONAL? About my eye disease or disorder... • What is my diagnosis, can it be treated? • How will this affect my vision? About my treatment... • What are the risks/side effects? • Are there foods, drugs or activities I should avoid? • If my treatment includes medicine, what should I do if I miss a dose? Other suggestions... • If you don't understand, ask! • Write down your clear instructions. Be an active patient, take an active role in your eye care!

20

www.havredailynews.com

March 2020


March 2020

www.havredailynews.com

21


How to Choose a... Family Dentist Discovering the right dentist for you and your family may be intimidating or challenging to some. It is important that the office of your choosing is the best match for your individual needs since oral health plays a vital role in one’s overall health. Here are the tips to use when determining what dentist would be most compatible for you. First and foremost, the dentist and their staff should be welcoming and friendly. The atmosphere should be pleasant and comfortable. Occasionally, the dental office can be a scary place, but the right staff and professional practices can help ease uncertainties as well as teach coping mechanisms to make the visit go as smooth as possible. Everyone has a different schedule making it difficult to find the perfect time to be seen. A suitable office should have hours that fit in easily with your day and have flexibility along with maintaining appointment times and completing work in a timely manner. Being open prior to 8am or past 5pm is a bonus. Some offices allow patients to be seen the same day on a walk-in basis and some offices require appointments to be scheduled, some are a few weeks in advance. Another asset is emergency dental services as you never know when an accident will

22

happen, or something will go wrong. Also take into consideration what afterhours services are provided. Insurance is a key factor in determining what is right for you. If a dental office does not accept your insurance, would you pay out of pocket for your dental care? Some dental treatments cost thousands of dollars. The provider should be upfront about cost and be in network with your insurance to use your benefits and not burden you with such a large bill. If you do not have insurance, it is helpful for an office to have payment plans or grant options to assist you in getting the services needed. Having a dentist that truly listens to your want and needs is important in overall care. You should be given all options to decide what treatment would be best for you and the dentist should be open to any questions you may have and listen to all your concerns. If you do not agree with your treatment plan, the dentist should be willing to construct a treatment plan that meets your wants and needs. An estimated time frame of what treatment will be completed is also convenient. Your smile matters; smiles are contagious. Choose a dentist whose office and staff are just as enthusiastic about your smile.

www.havredailynews.com

March 2020


March 2020

www.havredailynews.com

23


How to Choose a.... University Choosing the right college or university can feel overwhelming. After all, your decision will have long-term ramifications. The college or university can help you achieve your goals or leave you lying in the dust with a huge tuition bill. Selecting a strong college with an excellent reputation will give you a firm foundation to pursue your dream life. Careful planning and thought will help you feel confident that you are making the right choices for your life. Large or Small School? Ask yourself if you learn better in an intimate setting or a large classroom. Some schools have a small student-to-teacher ratio while others have auditoriums filled with students listening to a lecture. As you begin your research, be sure to look for information on class sizes and student population. Areas of Specialty The reputation of a university or college is very important. It can open or close doors in your career. Most colleges are renowned for a handful of majors. Does the learning institution specialize in your area of interest? Attending a prestigious university or college will give you opportunities and resources. The possibility of employment after graduation also dramatically improves when your school has good name recognition. Minors Once you have decided upon a major, think about your other areas of interest. Many colleges offer students the choice of adding a double major or minor to their plan of study. Even if you are going to pursue only one major, you will likely need to have elective courses in your schedule. These classes allow you to study something that will be beneficial and meaningful. They can also add a dimension to your work and perhaps even give you another hobby. You might even enjoy your electives so much that you decide to switch majors. Before applying to a college, view a list

24

of possible electives. Alumni Connections Don't forget to think of alumni connections in your family or circle of friends. These graduates can help you get into college. A letter of recommendation or contact with others in your prospective field of study can advance your career. Colleges look kindly upon people with alumni connections. These professionals could also give you insight into avoiding pitfalls and how to best use your degree after graduation. Social Activities Extracurricular activities and social events are another element to consider when choosing a college. Connections you make outside of the classroom are very important. Some universities are famous for their sororities and fraternities. Others colleges have excellent sports programs. Any school activities can help you network and make new friends. Students even develop lifelong friendships this way. The culture of your prospective university should be a strong factor in your decision. Online Classes When you have outside commitments or you prefer to learn at home, consider taking online courses. Internet classes will help you save money, especially when it comes to transportation. Online courses may allow you to work at a faster pace than traditional university classes. Working at your own speed can assist you in graduating quickly or tend to your active life. If you are thinking about choosing an online school, be sure to check their academic credentials and reputation. Also pick an institution in good standing. Choosing an institution for higher education can seem like a difficult, daunting decision. But once you understand your academic and lifestyle needs, you can find a school that is perfect for you.

www.havredailynews.com

Degree Programs: Associate of Applied Science Degree (AAS) • Agricultural Mechanics Technology • Agricultural Technology • Automotive Technology • Fast Track Automotive Technology • Diesel Technology • Design Drafting Technology • Civil Engineering Technology • Electrical Technology • Manufacturing • Pipefitting • Plumbing Technology Associate of Arts (AA) • General Education Associate of Science Degree in Nursing (ASN) • Nursing Associate of Science Degree (AS) • Program of Study in Business Tech. Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) • Applied Science • Business Technology • Trades Management Bachelor of Arts Degree (BA) • Community Leadership • Graphic Design • Liberal Studies • Native American Studies Bachelor of Science Degree (BS) • Agricultural Operation’s Technology • Biology • Criminal Justice • Automotive Technology • Business Administration • Diesel Technology • Diesel Technology: Equipment Management Option • Diesel Technology: Field Maintenance Option • Civil Engineering Technology • Health Promotion • Nursing Bachelor of Science in Education (BS) • Elementary Education (K-8) • English (5-12) • General Science (5-12) • Health and Physical Education (K-12) • Industrial Technology (5-12) • Social Science Broadfield (5-12) Certificates of Applied Science • Diesel Technology • Wastewater Collection • Wastewater Treatment • Water Distribution • Water Treatment • Welding Technology Master of Education Degree (MEd) • Counselor Education Master of Science Degree (MS)

• Education, Instruction and Learning

March 2020


March 2020

www.havredailynews.com

25


How to Choose a Physical Therapist Physical therapy helps alleviate pain. It focuses on treating musculoskeletal and neurological disorders. For example, people with back pain can receive physical therapy to strengthen the core muscles in their back. Not only will they feel better, patients may also graduate from physical therapy with a restored, functional body. Most patients visit physical therapists for chronic pain from injuries or if they recently underwent surgery. People with pain in their backs, knees, neck, shoulder or other joints can receive benefits from finding the right physical therapist. Insurance companies often agree about these benefits. Most companies require patients to try physical therapy before turning to expensive surgery to fix the problem. In fact, physical therapy can actually negate the need for surgical treatment. After surgery, physical therapy might serve as part of the aftercare and recovery process. For example, when you have surgery to repair a rotator cuff, a therapist will play a huge part in a successful recovery. People with degenerative disc problems in their backs will benefit from a physical therapy regimen. It will help ease pressure and pain in their lower back to regain full range of motion and strength.

26

Physical therapists also provide the best remedy for other injuries. Someone with a reattached finger will need to work with a physical therapist to regain feeling and movement. A person who has been incapacitated for an extended period may need physical therapy to regain their functionality. Insurance companies will likely have requirements. You may have to choose a therapy that is in-network, rather than out-of-network. Your insurance may also limit the amount of visits they cover. Once you have narrowed your search to a few potential candidates, inquire about the physical therapist's previous work history. Don't be afraid

www.havredailynews.com

of asking directly about their success rates and potential problems. The best physical therapists will provide emotional support as well as strengthening. Treatment and recovery is hard work, especially for patients in severe pain. When you feel exhausted, the physical therapist will provide motivation. A physical therapist will push you to your limits, which will aid in your full recovery. The therapist will inspire you to regain your full independence is especially important for elderly people who have problems getting around on their own. It is vital that you feel comfortable with whichever physical therapist you choose. This professional may have to examine sensitive areas of your body to check for swelling or heat. She may also massage your muscles as part of therapy. You should feel at ease and safe during this process. The physical therapist will likely provide you with exercises for you to do at home. It is very important that you act on exercise recommendations. It will help you recover faster. With the assistance of a good physical therapist and your own hard work, you may often fully recover and enjoy the best quality of life.

March 2020


How to Select the Right Insurance Agent for Your Needs Shopping for the right insurance agent can feel overwhelming. After all, there are plenty of things to consider. You need to find a company that offers the right mix of service, coverage and an affordable price. The challenge may simply be not knowing how to identify a reliable, reputable agent. Remember that everyone needs insurance coverage. An experienced agent can walk you through various options, keeping in mind your budget and lifestyle. Before choosing an insurance plan, you will need to identify an agent to guide you through the process. Your financial future depends on finding the right person to help you get insurance that will fit your needs. Your family, friends and colleagues have likely worked with insurance agents in the past. Ask people you trust for referrals. If you receive a recommendation, it is because that person has had a positive experience. There is a good likelihood that you will have similar results. Successful agents understand that offering great service will keep them in business. Their careers depend on word-of-mouth. If you are happy with the service you receive, your insurance agent will appreciate your willingness to

March 2020

refer acquaintances to her in the future. If you do not have recommendations, begin researching your options. Begin by looking at local companies and brokers. Large insurers give all of their agents the same training. Each agent will be subject to the same company policies. In some ways, that can be comforting. However, agents at large companies may lack creativity and flexibility in how they handle their accounts. As you conduct your research, be thorough and critical. Buying a policy is similar to purchasing a new car or home. It is truly that important. Select a company that is highly regarded by consumers. Read reviews of each company to determine who has the most satisfied clients. Are they easy to work with? Have there been any problems with collecting on a policy? Also, check that any prospective agent has all necessary licenses and training. After narrowing your list of prospective agents, make an appointment to visit each one. Prepare a list of questions and concerns about your personal situation. Take notes during your meeting. Remember that you must feel comfortable with the answers before

purchasing a policy. If an agent tries to pressure you into making a decision right away, inform him that you need more time and cannot sign anything immediately. The right agent will let you take as much time as you need to understand the implications of each policy. They will give you useful information and not subject you to high-pressure sales techniques. Your agent should be available. The relationship doesn't end once the sale is completed. Your dialogue should be continuous. The best agents are available in the event you have to file a claim. Agents who have been in business for many years likely have a good reputation and track record. They understand the policies and will even take extra care that you are properly protected. It is essential that you choose the right type and amount of insurance to adequately protect yourself and your financial future. The policy should be tailored to fit your specific needs. A seasoned, skilled insurance agent will be an invaluable resource for safeguarding your future.

www.havredailynews.com

27


How to Choose an Auto Body Shop Anyone who has experienced a car accident knows that it can be a calamitous event. Once you have dealt with any resulting health issues, you will have to contend with damage to your automobile. Whether your car has experienced significant damage or simply a scratch, it is vital to find an auto body shop that is trustworthy and dependable. Even the smallest accident can throw your schedule into disarray. A good auto body shop will ensure that your car, truck, SUV or minivan is repaired quickly, affordably and correctly. The shop you choose should be able to complete all manner of work, from a minor touch-up to a full-body repair. Your friends, family and colleagues might have recommendations. After all, auto body shops are a necessary part of life for most people. Once you have a list of names, research each shop on the Internet and read customer reviews. Testimonials, negative and positive, should be considered. But keep in mind

28

that no business has a 100 percent satisfaction rate. Someone will always be displeased. Also, more people are likely to leave a negative rather than a positive comment. If your social network doesn't have good recommendations, consult the Yellow Pages, advertising supplements or the Internet. Once you have created a list of shops, contact them on the phone. Describe the problem and listen for the response. If the person seems knowledgable and friendly, keep that shop on the list. However, if the person seems rushed and uninterested, it can mean the shop is very busy. It might also have poor customer service. Eliminate them from your list. When you have chosen an auto body shop, visit their store. Check for prices, certifications guarantees. Understand that you will often get what you pay for when it comes to auto body work. Low prices may be tempting, but they typically mean sub-par work, used parts

www.havredailynews.com

and paint incorrectly applied. Feel free to ask the manager or owner for references before they work on your car. They should have previous satisfied customers with whom you can contact. You can also check their previous work. When you see a car with paint drips, panels that are misaligned or paints that don't match, look elsewhere. You will not save money if you need to have the improper work redone. The shop should inspect your vehicle for repairs that are not readily visible. Quality auto body shops should be able to complete an entire job onsite. Our cars, trucks, SUVs and minivans get us to work on time, back and forth to school and transport our families to and from their destinations. Choosing a great auto body shop is important for yourself and your family. The right auto body shop will have superior customer service, great prices and excellent quality of work.

March 2020


How to Choose... Havre as a home Havre is the last frontier of the American West in a way, with half the area covered by some of the more formidable terrain in the lower Rocky Mountain chain and the other half flatlands of the uppermost Great Plains. As of July 2016, the town’s population was less than 10,000. Yet with a number of open-minded, kind people, and gorgeous scenery, Havre has places worthy of settling down in. The small but close community is tightly knit. Many places and people are interconnected causing a truly great feel of community and closeness. One would likely get to know the workers of many businesses and the owners as well. Local events and businesses work together to keep life entertaining and fulfilled. Truly, however the greatest part of living in Havre and the Hi-Line area comes with the rich amount of access to natural resources. Beaver Creek Park, Fresno Reservoir, Beaver Creek Reservoir, Bear Paw Lake, Rotary Pond and the many camping and fishing access areas in between. The only real downside to the area are the harsh winters. However, it is nothing a good warm blanket and a movie to watch with friends or a loved one cannot solve. The outdoor activities stretch for miles, with the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument an hour away, lakes, rivers, creeks and camping and hiking areas in all directions, fishing and hunting opportunities everywhere, and two national parks — Yellowstone and Glacier — each a half-day’s drive away. But Havre has more than outdoors activities. Grade schools and high schools in Havre and throughout the region regularly entertain residents with sports, music, theater and a variety of events. The local acting troupe, Montana Actors’ Theatre, offers plays throughout the year both for people to try their hand at acting, working behind the scenes and even directing, ranging from locally written original plays to cutting edge modern works to classics like “To Kill a Mockingbird” and the rock opera “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Service clubs and groups offer people the chance to work on regular projects, as well as offering events to people for their enjoyment, weekly musical performances by local artists happen each week throughout the summer, one set in a city park the other on Town Square, local attractions like the Wahkpa Chu’gn Buffalo Jump, tours of Fort Assinniboine and Havre Beneath the Streets and Hill County’s H. Earl Clack Memorial Museum provide hours of entertainment and edification, and major annual attractions like the annual Havre Festival Days in September and The Great Northern Fair in July draw thousands of people. But it’s not just the friendly people and the outdoors and activities that make Havre a great place to live. Havre sports many great shopping opportunities, from chains like Walmart and North 40 to businesses, stores, restaurants and dealerships that have been operating for decades across multiple generations — and where customer service is king. Local stores range from coffee shops to family restaurants, sporting goods stores to clothing retailers and hardware shops. And despite being the largest town in a 100-mile radius, in the middle of northern Montana 100 miles from the Canadian border, Havre is not isolated. With modern technology, people in the region communicate, entertain themselves and even work via the internet, making connections worldwide right from north-central Montana. So, whether someone wants friends, the great outdoors, music, theater, sports or shopping, Havre is a great place to be.

March 2020

www.havredailynews.com

29


How to Choose the Right Home For first-time buyers and repeat buyers alike, the decision to make an offer on a home is both exciting and a little scary. If your offer is accepted, the place you’ve chosen will be your home for the next several years. Not only should you feel emotionally satisfied by your choice, but you should also feel financially comfortable that you’re buying a home that you can afford and that you feel confident will hold onto its value or hopefully increase in value over the years. While no one can know for sure what will happen to housing values, if you make the choice to buy a home that meets your needs and priorities you’ll be happy to live in it for years to come.

Neighborhood or Home Amenities For some homebuyers, living in a particular neighborhood takes precedence over all other priorities, but for others, the home itself matters more. Ideally, you’ll find the perfect home in the neighborhood you love at a price that’s below your budget, but realistically, most people have to make some compromises. You (and your spouse, partner or family) should make a list of what features you want

30

in a home, such as the number of bedrooms, a fenced yard, granite counters in the kitchen, and then rank them in terms of priorities. Think about whether the house or the community matter more to you, and whether it’s worth it to you to make a longer commute in order to live in a home with a larger lot.

When to Compromise Once you’ve determined whether the location or the house itself matters most, you may have to compromise on some of your priorities. If the location is the most important factor for your home choice but you find that homes are priced above your budget, you can compromise in several ways: • Look for a different home type within the community, such as a smaller single family home, a town home or condominium. Decide if you can live with one less bedroom or other features on your list. • Consult with a lender or a financial planner to discuss your options for increasing your budget. While no one should overspend on a home, you should recognize that going $10,000 above your price range when you’re

www.havredailynews.com

financing your purchase with a 30-year fixedrate loan will actually add only about $30 to your monthly payment. • Lower your expectations about the condition of the home. While everyone prefers a move-in ready home, you can often get a better deal on a home that needs some cosmetic repairs. Be careful, though, to have a home inspection and to evaluate the structure of the home to see that it meets your needs. Moving walls and adding a bathroom are costly renovations, while painting and replacing appliances are more reasonable. If you have your heart set on a specific home style or a home with a larger yard for your children or to garden, your compromise is more likely to be in the location. If you’re willing to commute farther or perhaps choose a home in a community next to the ‘hot’ neighborhood, you can often find a more affordable home that fulfills your wish list. An experienced Realtor can help you determine when and how to compromise and should take the time to show you a variety of alternatives so you can make an informed decision about when to make an offer.

March 2020


How to Choose an Assisted Living Facility Sometimes, illness or age can take a toll on someone. They find that living independently at home is no longer a viable option. When you need to look for an assisted living facility, there are many things to consider. Cost is often the first thing people think about when searching for a facility. While a clear understanding of expenses is beneficial, there are other aspects to keep in mind. Be sure you know the cost breakdown of each facility. An awareness of how fees are charged will help you avoid surprises later. Special services might be an additional cost. The quality of care and satisfaction of current and former residents will also figure prominently into your decision. Of course, the maintenance and comfort level of the facility is also something to research. Do an online check of assisted living homes in your area. Many sites will feature reviews from family members, friends and residents. Make a list of facilities that might be a

March 2020

good fit. Be sure to visit each facility on your list. Look carefully at the condition of the buildings. Inquire about activities for the residents. Also, take a look at their calendar of events to get a better idea about the lifestyle of people living there. Go out of your way to meet residents and family members. Touring facilities during the early evenings or weekend afternoons are the best times. Ask for honest opinions about the staff, amenities and accommodations. You or your loved one may only need a secure environment or assistance in case of a fall. In the future, these needs could change. The ideal facility will accommodate additional needs in the future. If mobility becomes a concern, the size and layout of the center may become more

Apartments Available!

important. Eventually, you may need someone to dispense medication, manage appointments, provide transportation and more personal levels of care. While some facilities can provide increasing amounts of care, other centers may require that you leave the facility should your needs increase. A facility is a good match when it resembles the lifestyle to which the resident is accustomed. Make a list of things that are important to you. If you pursue gardening, crafting or other hobbies, look for a center that lets you continue with these hobbies with ease. People who enjoy staying active and exercising can find a facility that has a gym, exercise room or secure place to walk. Gregarious people need centers that allow plenty of opportunity for socializing. Moving into an assisted living facility doesn’t have to be stressful or unpleasant. With research and diligence, you can be confident that you or your loved one will be well cared for while still being able to enjoy life.

www.havredailynews.com

31


How to Choose a Real Estate Agent A reputable Realtor and real estate agency can make a big difference when you buy or sell a home. There are thousands of dollars at stake. You could get the asking price or maybe you will have to settle for the best offer on the table. A real estate agency will act in your best interests. That's why it's essential to find a high-quality real estate agency. Reputation says a lot about a company. What do people say about their services. Ask your family, friends and neighbors for recommendations. Their experiences will guide you toward a reputable agency. Once you have a list of possibilities, do some research. Find out how long the agency has been in business. Ideally, you want people who know your community. If the real estate agency is merely a side business, it might not give you the best results. Buying and selling homes is a full time job. Look on the Internet and read customer service reviews. They should also have an impact on your overall impression of an agency. Once you have narrowed your list, contact some businesses and ask them questions. You should know about their listings,

32

fees and commissions. If an agency is focusing on their own best interests rather than marketing your home, you should drop them from you list. You need someone who will help you. Choose an agency that has connections with the community, a sharp understanding of neighborhoods that interest you and solid contacts with other realty companies. This assumes major importance when you’re selling your current house, because the agency usually handles the sale while the Realtor helps you find your new one. The marketing strategy and advertising is what makes each agency unique. It will greatly influence the sale of your home. Although most companies might look the same, real estate agencies have a preference for the kind of properties they show or sell. These concentrations might include commercial properties or high-end homes. Try to find a business with a focus that concentrates on selling homes similar to yours. Look at an agency's listings to see if your home would fit in nicely with their existing clients. If you were purchasing a home, would you find their listings easy to read and informative? The size of the agency will have an impact on your experience. Small agencies

www.havredailynews.com

can provide more personalized service, but they may not have the networking advantages of a large company. Big agencies have more opportunities to network and sell your home, but they may have to divide their time among many clients. Be prepared to ask an agency the following questions if you are selling your home: • How will you advertise my home? Will you use the Internet and newspapers? • How many pictures of my house will appear online? • On which sites will my home be featured? • Do you have other homes that have recently been sold in this price range? • How long has the agency been selling homes in my neighborhood? • What makes your agency unique? The two biggest financial decisions you will make in your lifetime is buying and selling a home. Protect your investment and peace of mind by choosing the best and most trustworthy real estate agency you can find.

March 2020


How to Choose a Musical Instrument It seems as though learning to play a musical instrument is on everyone’s bucket list. The good news is that it is never to late to learn. Playing an instrument can make you more alert. It stimulates the brain and helps improve your memory. Studies show that children learn to play a musical instrument at an early age may also learn to read earlier. Whether you pick up a guitar, a set of drumsticks or a flute, you can relax and have fun. So, how do you choose the right musical instrument? Discover Instruments You Like Your musical preferences will give you lots of insight. Which instruments are most pleasing to you? For some people, listening to a drum solo is inspiring and exciting. For others, it seems like a bunch of noise. Your first step is to look at the music in your collection. Which instrumental songs make you happiest? Talk to a Music Professional A professional music teacher or great music store professional can guide you toward the right choices. Sometimes there are physical reasons why some people cannot play specific instruments. The shape of the mouth, the size of the body or hands and condition of the teeth might all help or hinder your ability to play an instrument.

March 2020

A professional will help you identify the best matches for your physique. Find the Music Store and Try Some Instruments Trying different musical instruments will give you a good idea if one is right for you. Good music stores will allow you to test instruments at their location. Visit when the store is not crowded for the best opportunities to play. The music store should be a hub for musicians in your community. Look for a store that delivers personal, one on one, service and has a knowledgeable staff. The shop may offer music lessons, or they should know of private lessons in your area. Look for passionate salespeople who love music. Research the Instrument Read about your prospective instrument. Make certain that it is the one you want to learn how to play. Look to see if playing will provide any adverse effects. Callouses, carpal tunnel and other injuries might occur if you play too long or incorrectly. Rent or Buy? Some beginners, especially students, opt to rent rather than purchase an instrument. This makes the most sense with brass and woodwinds. Purchasing a band style instrument is a big investment. It is also a great way to get your feet wet

without committing yourself. Try to rent your instrument from a company that will let you apply payments to the purchase of the instrument or to another instrument if you change your mind. It is also important to add up the cost of the rental and compare it to the actual cost of the instrument to purchase. Sometimes renting is very expensive. If you decide to rent, rent from a company that also services the instruments it owns. Most instruments need maintenance and repair periodically. Take Lessons Finding the right teacher can make your experience a success. After all, no one can learn to play an instrument overnight. It is not unusual to start with one instrument and then move to more advanced equipment as you get better. Beginners don’t have the chops to master advanced instruments in the beginning. It may not make sense to purchase professional-quality equipment unless you are certain that you are sticking with it for a long time. Talk to music Professionals about the instruments they like best. Have them describe their experiences. Then make your decision. Most importantly have fun and find your groove.

www.havredailynews.com

33


How to Choose a Bookstore Bookstores are a fantastic refuge. Most shops are peaceful and quiet. You can walk around the sections, browsing through new titles and old classics. You might even meet someone with similar interests. These days, bookstores offer much more than bookshelves. There are plenty of fun activities and even lectures to enjoy. But walking to the closest bookstore may not give you the best results. Choosing which bookstore gains your loyalty takes careful planning and thought. Types of Booksellers There are many types of bookstores. Anyone who prefers a genre such as mysteries, spirituality, fantasy or science fiction should begin researching genre bookstores. These shops have the latest publications in your area of interest. They can also which authors have books that will be released soon. General bookstores carry books from every genre. If you have eclectic tastes, this bookstore should be your first top. Bookstore chains also offer large qualities of books in every category. They also have music, toys, journals, magazines and other items. Chains have large website so you can check their stock, along with memberships and other discounts. On the the hand, independent bookstores cater to your local community. The authors featured may be your neighbors. While they will have the latest bestsellers, these shops will also cater to the popular concerns of your region.

34

Most independent bookstores have programs, including guest speakers and special events. Used bookstores are very popular with most readers. These stores offer gently used books, and sometimes new books as well. It is a great way to build your library. You can also sell books back to the store, which will either give you store credit or cash. It is an excellent way to recycle your purchases. Services Many bookstores also have a variety of other services for their customers. Finding the best bookstore for your personality will depend on how much you value these extra services. • Serving the community: Some bookstores are more like a central meeting place for the community. They have a large bulletin board, coffee shop and events involving local authors, artists and poets. It is a fabulous way to stay informed and make new friends in your neighborhood. • Supporting local art: Some booksellers also exhibit — and sell — local art. • Staff recommendations: Bookstores like to ask their employees for good books to recommend to customers. Some shops even employ experts in a particular genre who will advise you on how to find books that best suit your tastes. • Special orders and mail orders: Special orders may be a free service at bookstores. They might specially order a book for you and then notify you when it arrives. Local shops may also ship book to their local customers.

www.havredailynews.com

• Inviting patrons to stay a while: Sitting down among books is a popular pastime for many people. It shouldn’t be hard to find a bookstore that allows customers to linger. Attractive armchairs and lamps will let you know that the store is inviting you to stay a while and relax. Hanging out at a bookstore can be a great way to unwind after a stressful day. Pricing Cost-conscious consumers may look for bookstores that offer rewards programs. Some shops will give you a discount after you have bought a certain number of books. Bookstore coffee shops may also have a similar program. Chain stores often send out notifications via email about special sales and promotions. Gift Giving Reading accessories make wonderful gifts. Some bookstores offer complimentary giftwrapping services. Or look for a bookstore that also sells greeting cards and gift wrapping. You might even purchase a gift card, probably located near the register. In today’s economy, bookstores are competing for your money. Sellers are adding value to your visit by expanding their selections, giving you better services and creating a neighborly atmosphere. The best bookstore will be able to meet all of your needs.

March 2020


How to Choose a Property Manager If you've owned income property for any length of time, you know that managing a rental can be financially rewarding. At the same time, you've also likely discovered that property management requires a large commitment of time and effort. While it may make sense to take the do-ityourself approach if you're a handy person, live close to your property, and don't mind devoting several hours per month to the task, in many cases this just isn't practical---especially if you hope to expand your business. With this in mind, here are some critical tasks a property manager can help you with: 1. Setting the right rental rates: While looking through the classifieds to see what other landlords are charging for similar properties is a fine way to ballpark your rent price, a good property management company will conduct a thorough market study in order to set a rental price for your property, ensuring that you achieve the perfect balance between maximizing monthly income and maintaining a low vacancy rate. 2. Collecting and depositing monthly rent payments on time: If you've ever worked in a billing department, you know that securing payment from clients can be difficult, not to mention awkward. Property management companies have efficient, tried-and-true systems in place to effectively collect rent and maintain ontime payments. You'll find this particularly important if you have a limited number of properties,

March 2020

and collecting payments on time is crucial to maintaining your cash flow. 3. Marketing and advertising your property: Through long experience, a property manager will know exactly where to market your property and how to craft compelling advertising materials---a significant advantage when it comes to filling your properties quickly and avoiding long vacancies. 4. Finding the right tenants: Experienced property managers are experts at finding good tenants, and will take care of all the details, including the securing all criminal background and security checks, running credit reports, verifying employment, and collecting previous landlord references. 5. Managing tenants: In addition to finding good tenants, a property management company will manage all aspects of the tenant-landlord relationship. The property manager will coordinate both routine and emergency maintenance, take care of routine inspections, and manage any situations where conflict resolution is required. 6. Managing vendor relationships: Property management companies have relationships with maintenance workers, tradesmen, contractors, suppliers, and vendors that it's almost impossible for an independent landlord to duplicate. Not only will your property manager get you the best work for the best price, they'll oversee any necessary maintenance projects.

7. Ensuring that you're in compliance with housing regulations and property laws: There is a multitude of applicable laws and regulations to abide by when renting and maintaining your rental property. These include local, state and federal regulations, as well as fair housing regulations (such as the ADA). A property manager can help you avoid lawsuits by keeping your property up-to-date and in compliance with these regulations. 8. Enabling you to invest in geographically distant properties: If you manage your own properties, you're pretty much limited to investment opportunities within a tight radius of your own home. By hiring a property manager, you can take advantage of investment deals in any location you wish. 9. Maximizing the profitability of your time: By having a property manager take care of the day-to-day aspects of running your income property, your free to spend your time identifying further investment opportunities or otherwise furthering your career. 10. Maximizing the profitability of your money: Most property managers charge a percentage of your property's monthly rental rate in exchange for their services. The rate typically runs anywhere from 8-10%, which is generally less than the money you save by hiring a professional to take care of your property.

www.havredailynews.com

35


Profile for Havre Daily News

How to Guide 2020  

How to Guide 2020  

Profile for havrenews
Advertisement