News Press Stillwater
REALESTATE W E E K LY
December 23, 2021
3.10% For the last four consecutive weeks, mortgage rates have generally held stable.
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Stillwater NewsPress • Thursday, December 23, 2021
Ideas for a bathroom remodel Veteran homeowners recognize the value of remodeling their kitchens and bathrooms. Kitchens and baths tend to appear dated more quickly than other spaces, such as living rooms and bedrooms, which can always be revamped with some fresh paint and new furnishings. The home improvement pricing resource Home Guide indicates an average bathroom remodel costs anywhere from $5,500 to $15,000 depending on the size and scope of the renovation. However, a bath redo can increase a home’s resale value and can return as much as 68 percent of homeowners’ investments. As homeowners plan their bathroom renovations, it’s a good time to consider improvements that will improve function and add design appeal for years to come. • Floating vanity: Add an airy feeling to the room by creating space between the vanity and the floor. A floating vanity can be a counter with a vessel sink or even have cabinets, as long as the vanity doesn’t extend to the floor. • Freestanding traditional sink or tub: There’s some-
NATURAL TEXTURES: Create a calm and serene sanctuary in the bathroom with light, natural hues and materials. Nature-inspired colors on tiles, walls and vanities can add to the spa vibe.
thing elegant about a freestanding tub or pedestal sink. Such features can lend a classic vibe to a space. However, freestanding fixtures also come in modern or eclectic forms, so there are options for any design style. • Frameless showers: Switch to a walk-in shower option, which improves aesthetics and makes it easier to “age in place” in a home. Pair that frameless shower with clear glass shower doors so sightline in the space remains unencumbered. • Natural textures: Create a calm and serene sanctuary in the bathroom with light, natural hues and materials. Nature-inspired colors on tiles, walls and vanities can add to the spa vibe. • Dual sinks and vanities: With a double vanity, two people can share the space and easily use the bathroom without getting in each other’s way. One vanity with two sinks works, but homeowners can create even more personal
space by dividing vanities and mirrors. • Small textured tile on shower floors: Small textures are appealing and add safety. The added texture and grouting will keep feet from slipping on wet floors. Also, opt for mold-resistant grout to make cleanup even easier. • Special shower heads: Invest in shower heads that can run the gamut from creating steam showers to rainfall effects. Some showers will have multiple shower jets to offer an invigorating experience. • Improve drainage: Increase the diameter of the drain pipe in the bathroom from the standard to a twoinch drain pipe. This will reduce the risk of clogs and overflow leaks. • Install a window: Natural light and air flow can reduce the risk for mold and mildew growth, and windows add some aesthetic appeal to a space. Just be sure to choose frosted privacy glass.
Additional considerations for a bath remodel include heated floors, wellplaced and attractive storage options and a toilet enclosure (water closet) for added privacy. These and other bathroom renovation ideas can add value and improve the appeal of the room. – MetroCreative
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Holiday gardening projects HOME GROWN KEITH REED
is not guaranteed, winter is the best time of the year to attempt it. If you do move a tree, make sure you mulch and water it in thoroughly after transplanting. Continue to water it as needed, especially towards the
end of the winter as the tree begins to take up additional water to support the new leaves.
ucator in the Payne County Extension office. Keith can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, phone at 405-747-8320, or in For more inforperson at the Payne mation on this or County Extension any other horticultural topic, you can office, located at 315 contact Keith Reed, W. 6th in Stillwathe Horticulture Ed- ter.
322 E Kenworthy -NE 3/1/1178 sq.-ft., Detached 4 Lots - $152,500 502 N.9366 Burdick - 3 2 1623 ft Close toGarage, Sho inStorage & Schools - 225 000 - Donna - Lori K. HWY 33 3s bed, 3 bath on .75-acre m/l -Shed, $275,000 - Ann 2023 E. Linda Ave - Large corner with 1496 outbuilding. Over sq ft -$248,000 5020 W 10th - 4 bdrm., Stillwater Country Club, large lot - 1900 $360,000 -Lori Tiffany 2206 W 23rd Ave. -lot 3/2/2, sq. ft. 3BR/2.5BA Selling As-Is - $1,70,000 K. – Tiffany 814 S. Rock Hollow Ct. - SWDr. area over 3.5 1990Bath, sq ft/SCC access $274,000 10217 S Brenna - 4 /Bed, 2,891Golf sq. Cart ft. - $490,000 - Ann – Tiffany 2320 Timbercrest Dr. - 3 Bed, 3 Bath, 1600 sq. ft. New Construction - $209,000 - Donna 9715 E. Horizon Dr.bdrm./3 - 50 x 60 livestock barn on 5 acres with Campus! no restrictions $100,000 – Lori K- PENDING 1919 Brooke Hollow Ct. - 4 bath/Large Lot/North of OSU - $343,000 - Tiffany any S. Perkins Property, m/l -City $1,800,000 K. 0 W. 19thRd. Ave- -Prime 7.48- acres inside Stillwater city10-acres limits $350,000 – Lori K - Lori 6000 3716 N Pennsylvania Ave. #43 2Commercial bdrm./2.5 Bath Condo, Oklahoma - $129,000 - Tiffany 801 S. Burdick --3BR/1.5BA, 1.5 story large sq ft a $89,000 Loricities. C PENDING! 1408 N. MW. LoriK.4517 5215 Spring Creek Cir. E - 2/1 sq. ft. onlot 3 1371 Lots with Barn -–$299,900 Lori K.00-–Lori 11620 100th, Coyle 4.98-acres m/l1253 with on a pond. Just minutes from major --$60,000 Broker Associate 1115WS.Country Richﬁeld Ct. - 3BD/2BA 1775 sq ft $305,000 – Tiffany 4713 - NICE Lot forRipley sale - $25,000 DonnaPRICE 20J- 41.5-acres, onna Lori 10 Lori 5607.1 S Mehan Just NorthClub of 68th & Mehan, Schools -- NEW $249,000 - Tiffany 405-612-6724 2923 N. Monroe 2321 ft $208,000 – Tiffany Shumard Oaks - 5 Nice- 3BD/2BA Lots for you tosq build your new home -PENDING! $27,000 - Donna n 6023 Haydans Brk. New Construction, 4/2,School 2075 sq. ft. -$22,500 $338,500 - Lori K.- Donna 7917 Pickles Gap -- Nice large in Perkins District Lori Scotthaven Addition - Nice Large lots in lot Perkins School District/starting at -–$45,500 6021 Hallies Meadow NEW CONSTRUCTION 4BD/2BA 2347 sq ft $379,900 – Lori 5504 W Creekside - GATED Luxury, 5/4.5, 5823 sq.Schools ft. - NEW- PRICE $1,580,000 - Dolores/Tiffany 5607 SDr. Mehan Rd.COMMUNITY, - 52.5-acresRadiant for Sale, Will Divide, Ripley $349,000 - Tiffany y5,900 1408 N.PEND Mai 5005 – Lori iffany N Perkins Rd - 4000Hunting/Building/The sq ft warehouse - Oh the possibilitiesare $399,900 – -Donna 00Cedar E 810Crest Rd., Tryon possibilities endless $224,028 - Kyle 9001 Trail --453.34-acres. bdrm./3 bath/5-acres/Pool/Summer Kitchen plus more!! C11 - $1,100,000 - Tiffany 5706 W. Garden Pointe Dr.Lots - Gated 3BD/3BA, 2754 sq ft $550,000 – Ann 1218 W 12th - 4 Commercial in aCommunity very High Traffic area/starting at $255,000 - Ann 18575 Deer Pointe 3/2/2 on 2.5-acres, 1917 sq. ft. NEW PRICE $268,000 Kyle 3618 W. Fountain View Rd. Ct. --5BD/2.5BA, in ground pool - Woodland Trails -addn $362,900 – Tiffany 3000 S. Range 4 bed, 4.5 bath, on 3.2-acres - $845,000 Tiffany/Dolores $820,000 208 S. N. Duck Donaldson - 4BR/2BA 1851 sq ft - close to shopping &Stillwater schools $205,000 – Donna St. - Beautiful Office Building inBuilding the heart - $900,000 - LoriaK. S. Boomer Rd. - Nice Commercial for of sale - $2,245,000 - Tiffany 719 Kar 3013215 0 - Tiffany 910Main Kansas / Pawnee - 1936 farmhouse / 112 acre lot with outbuildings Tiffany E. St., St. Coyle - 64 Unit Storage GREAT - $165,000 - Donna 120211 W Tyler - CALLING ALL INVESTORS, 2 Building, Units, Apts., 2INVESTMENT bed, 1 bath - $129,999– $950,000 - Dolores/Tiffany r ri- Lori K. 415 W. 80th - 52.65 OK, acresCute ruralhome property, no restrictions $300,000 – Lori iffan 505 S. 11 Morton Ave. - Ripley, across from the School - $75,000 3337617 W Charleston Ct. - New Construction in Berry plus Creek, 4 bed, unit 2.5 bath - $397,900 - Donna S. Main - Downtown Stillwater commercial apartment – Tiffany 2923 - 3 bdrm./2 bath/Study/Game Room.unit One block to Boomer$395,000 Lake - $219,000 - Tiffany 29 N. Monroe Tiffany 830456 3354 / 1Carney -3BR/2BA ft to -with out building – Lori $250,000 Spring Cir.S.ECt. - 2- bed, bath, 1253 sq. ft.1468 onclose 3sq lots a barnLake -$199,900 NEW PRICE Lori K. 000 N Creek Glenwood 9Rd lots platted for duplexes Boomer - $420,000 - Tiffany 7195215 Karen , 0 -- Tiffany 111 E. Tower / Perry 3BD/1BA 1118 sq ft $79,800 – Tiffany 7917 Pickles Gap - Nice large Lots lot inon Perkins School District - $22,500 - Lori 1408 N. Roka ,900 - Lori Hidden Lake - 14 Beautiful the North Side - $52,500-$79,000 - Lori K. N. Burdick - 3BR/2BA sq ft Close to shopping & schools $209,000 – Donna- Lori 6021502 Hallies Meadow - NEW 1623 CONSTRUCTION 4BR/2BA, 2,347 sq. ft. - $379,900 Crescent Dr. -. 4/2.5/2, 2439 sq. ft. GREAT LOCATION - NEWtotal PRICE $345,000 29232113 iffany 920,N.920 1/2 S. Duck 2 Investment properties, homes, bedrooms $160,000 – Amy- Ann 5005 N Perkins Rd. - -4,000 sq. ft. warehouse -2Oh, the 5possibilities - $399,900 - Donna 9366 NE - 3 bed, 3 building bath, onand .75-acre m/l - NEW PRICE $249,000 - 35,900 Ann - Lori 101Pointe W.Hwy. 80th - -Commercial shop on 11.5 acres $4,000,000 – Lori$495,000 57061408 W. Garden Dr.33 Gated Community 3BR/3BA, 2,754 sq. ft. - NEW PRICE $510,000 - Ann N. M 354 S.Kansas Cou ,500 - Tiffany W. Lakeview 10 acres/ NW of Condo, Stillwater $300,000 –City Lori 910 St. /5011 Pawnee - 1936 1-acre lot withOklahoma outbuildings - $129,999 - Tiffany 4517 0 - Lori 6000 N Pennsylvania Ave. #43 -farmhouse 2-bdrm./2.5 Bath - $129,000 - Tiffany 522 12th- 52.65-acres - Commercialrural building in downtown Stillwater -$250,000 – Lori 415 W.E.80th property, no restrictions $250,000 - Lori 354 Tiffany W Country Club Lot for sale - $25,000 - Donna – Donna - ffany PENDING - 2620 S. Black4713 ,900 - Tiffany 354 Oak Dr. -Stillwater 4BD/3BA, 4813- NICE sq ft Georgian & style 617 S. Main - Downtown commercial unit pluselegance apartment unit$950,000 - $395,000 - Tiffany 1304354 & 11111012 45,000 - Lori Shumard Oaks 5 Nice Lots for you to build your new home $27,000 Donna iffany N. Manning St. 3BR/2BA storm shelter, outbuilding $195,000 – Tiffany PENDING! E. Tower / Perry - 3BR/1BA, 1,118 sq. ft. - NEW PRICE $70,800 - Tiffany - PENDING PENDING - S. Duck2218 - $152,500 ,000 -Tiffany W. 3rd- Nice - Close to campus 3BR/2BA 2208 sq ft $239,000 – Tiffany 920, - 2 Investment properties, 2 homes, 5School bedrooms total - NEW - Amy - -- Donna Scotthaven Addition large lots in Perkins District/starting atPRICE $45,500 1304 & 920½ - Lori 1408 N. Main / Perkins4BD/3BA 2098 sq ft NEW CONSTRUCTION on- $4,000,000 golf course $325,000 – Lori 101 80th Commercial building 11.5-acres - Lori - Ann 1218 WW. 12th - 4- Commercial Lots in a and veryshop Highon Traffic area/starting at $255,000 4517 Jenna Ln. - 3BD/2BA 1756 sq ftNW NEW $266,900 5011 W. Lakeview - 10-acres of CONSTRUCTION Stillwater - $300,000 - Lori – Lori Tiffany 354 S.E.12th Range 4 bed, 4.5 - $820,000 - Tiffany/Dolores 115E. 80th- Commercial - Rd. 14.5 -acres m/l Justbath, North of3.2-acres 68th & Mehan - $121,075 - Tiffany 354 S.3 3000 Tiffany 522 building in on downtown Stillwater - $250,000 - Lori -Kyle 203 80th large ofﬁce 3Building acres m/l – Lori- $950,000 354 Cou , -700 Tiffany . S. Kyle 3215 Boomer Rd.--Nice Nice4,813 Commercial for$950,000 sale -&$2,245,000 - Tiffany 2620S306 S. Black Oak Dr. E - 4BR/3BA, sq. ft.on Georgian elegance style Donna 270 -- -Lori 2707. 3202 E 2nd - 4BD/2BA 1717 sq ft Split ﬂoor plan $175,000 – Ann -7 - Lori PENDING & 1306 S4 - Ave. 24 ft. - $135,000 - Lori 14081304 N. Main /Perkins 4BR/3BA, 2,098 ft. NEW on golf- course -sq. $325,000 $315,000 2707 W.Morton 317 Lori 505 S. - Ripley, OK,sq. Cute homeCONSTRUCTION across from the School $69,900 Lori K. - Lori K. Lori 6038 Haydans Brook 4BR/2.5BA 2183 sq ft $349,000 – Lori - Lori 4517 Jenna 1,756 sq. ft.- NEW CONSTRUCTION - $266,900 PENDING 202 Ln. - 3BR/2BA, 5 - -Donna 000 N Glenwood Ct. - 9 lots for north duplexes close to Boomer Lake - $420,000 - Tiffany N. Monroe - 2 platted Commercial buildings on & 3 acres $600,000 – Dolores E. 80th - 14.5-acres m/l just of 68th Mehan - $121,075 - Tiffany Lori K. 61152112 354 S. Council - Land sale office inCONSTRUCTION Crescent, OK - No 33.5 acres m/l- $167,000 6021 Hallies Meadow NEW 4BR/2BA, 2,347 sq. ft. $379,900 Lori 203 E.Rd. 80th - Nicefor-large on 3-acres m/lrestrictions - NEW PRICE $1,200,000 - Lori –-Tiffany . S. as- 801 -Ann or S. Burdick - 3BR/2.5BA sq ft $87,000 – Tiffany 3202 E. 2nd 4BR/2BA, ft. Split1371 floor plan - Ann ---PENDING 5005 S0000 Perkins Rd. - 4,0001,717 sq. ft.sq. warehouse - Oh, the- $170,000 possibilities - $399,900 - - Donna W 6038 44th Haydans - 15.86 acres - will -divide, look for2,183 signs west $317,000 ffany Brook 4BR/2.5BA, sq. ft.of- Western $349,000 - Lori, – Lori any 474 2707 . 415 W. 80thOaks - 52.65-acres ruralacres property, no restrictions - $250,000 - Lori 19th - 7.48 m/l inon city3-acres limits $350,000 – Lori 2112 N.Cedar Monroe - 2&Commercial buildings - $600,000 - Dolores N. Possibilities! $2,352,900 Lori 601 fany N.101 0000 S. Country Club Rd. - 20forAcres onwest Paved Road - $200,000 - Ann- Lori W. 80th - Commercial building and shop onof11.5-acres $4,000,000 -Lori Lori 2707 W 44th - 15.86-acres - will divide, look signs Western -- $317,000 - PENDING Lori Crosby Donna-pleasure Rhinehart 4717 S. Turtle Pond Ct.&- Great m/lnorth Lotm/l for your - $45,000 - Tiffany Montie Stewart Monty Stewart Cedar Oaks 19th -.-acre 7.48-acres citybuilding $350,000 - Lori 115 E. 80th - 14.5-acres m/l just ofin 68th &limits Mehan - $121,075 - Lori K. Realtor Associate 3000 Range Rd $845,000 1-3 Dolores Lemon Realtor Realtor Associate N. Washington Rd. 151.8 acres m/l, OH the Possibilities! $2,352,900 Lori 4717 S. Turtle Pond Ct. - Great .-acre m/l lot for your building pleasure - $45,000- -Lori Tiffany PEN q. ft.$1,200,000 - $349,000 405-612-4184 203 E. 80th - Nice office onm/I, 3-acres m/l - NEW PRICE - Lori 405-747-7306 405-372-5151 ngton Rd.large 151.8 acres OH the N. Washington Rd. -- 151.8-acres m/l, OH the Possibilities! Possibilities!- -$2,352,900 $2,352,900- -Lori Lori
those that have built up in your gutters as they are usually nice and wet and will help provide moisture critical to the composting process. Have you considered adding a new or expanding a flower bed? Now would be a fairly good time to dig out bermuda grass rhizomes. I say fairly because it is virtually impossible to get all the bermudagrass out on the first attempt. Removing the majority of it now will give you a realistic chance of staying ahead of it when greenup begins this spring. Now is also a good time to get your vegetable garden cleaned up if you have failed to do so. Squash bugs were public enemy number one for our area this year. Removing the remaining plant litter will reduce the opportunity for some of these pesky insects to overwinter. While it would be a mistake to assume this will eliminate squash bug issues, it will help give your garden a fighting chance. This would also be a good time to transplant any woody deciduous trees. While this can be difficult for a homeowner and success
Stillwater NewsPress • Thursday, December 23, 2021
Many of us of are fortunate enough to have an opportunity over the next two weeks to have an extra vacation day or two at our disposal. In some cases, we might even have family or friends in for the holidays, often times languishing around the dinner table or the television in need of something constructive to do. If you find yourself in this position and the weather cooperates, here are a few ideas for some gardening projects. If you already have a compost pile, this is the perfect opportunity to turn it and boost it with food preparation scraps. While it is theoretically possible to compost almost all kitchen waste, adding meat and dairy to the compost pile is generally discouraged as these foods tend to attract rodents and other animals. Also, it takes a little more dedication to maintaining a temperature in the pile high enough to properly break down these materials. If you don’t already have a compost pile, now is a great time to start one, especially with all the leaves laying around waiting to make a contribution. Don’t overlook
Bargains at tax-deed sales can be hard to find
Stillwater NewsPress • Thursday, December 23, 2021
Some good homes are available at taxdeed sales, but the chances of picking one up for just a few thousand bucks are slim. DEAR DAVE: How do “tax-deed sales” work? I see a lot of commercials on TV that say you can buy a really nice house at the sales for just a few thousand dollars if you pay the owner’s delinquent property taxes. ANSWER: Taxdeed sales can sometimes yield good bargains, but finding one isn’t as easy as those 30-minute infomercials (usually aimed at getting you to buy tapes or attend expensive seminars) suggest. Tax-deed sales are routinely held by property tax collectors or assessors in nearly every
county across the nation. The process varies from one area to the next, but typically involves homes that were seized by the county because owners didn’t pay their annual property taxes. Most counties use an auction format for their sales. The opening bid for each home is usually equal to the amount of taxes that are owed, plus late penalties and court costs. Oftentimes, that means that the first bid might be as low as a few thousand dollars. The bidding, though, almost always escalates quickly. That’s because a tax-deed sale usually wipes out any lender’s interest in the property, and no bank is going to allow a big loan it made on
so the tax collector seized the home and auctioned it off before the rest of the estate was turned over to the government. Steve had spent hundreds of hours attending tax-deed MYERS sales without any other bidders might luck, but his persistence finally paid be willing to pay off. even more, espe••• cially if the home REAL ESTATE has gone way up in TRIVIA: Figures value through the provided by the years. Though finding a U.S. Census Bureau bargain at tax-deed and budget-saving website WalletHub. sales isn’t easy, it can be done. One of com show that Alabama’s median anmy favorite stories nual property tax of involves my friend Steve, who was able $587 is the lowest in the nation. New to get a gorgeous Jersey’s $8,300 is home valued at $125,000 by paying the highest. ••• only $4,200 in back DEAR DAVE: taxes. If I decide to sell The original my house myself owner had paid instead of hiring a her mortgage off real estate agent, years earlier and would I need to get then died without a real estate sales leaving any heirs,
ABOUT REAL ESTATE
DAVID a home to be eliminated by a tax-deed buyer who puts up a relatively small amount of cash to pay the original borrower’s back taxes. For example, if the bank has made a $150,000 loan on a home but the tax collector seized the property because the borrower didn’t pay his $5,000 tax bill, the first bid might be for $5,000, but the bank may immediately raise it to $155,000 so it can gain ownership and sell it to get all of its money back. The bank and
license first? ANSWER: No, you wouldn’t need to get a sales license. Real estate transactions are so complicated today that I rarely recommend a seller market their home without the help of a full-service realty agent. A typical agent will charge a commission of 5% or 6% of the property’s purchase price, but that’s a small price to pay if the agent’s marketing skills result in a much higher price than the sellers could get on their own. ••• DEAR DAVE: Our son is 19 years old and is in college. Someone broke into his dormitory room over Thanksgiving weekend and stole his $1,500 computer, plus a bunch of other stuff. He filed a report with both
the university’s security force and the local police department, but the university says it is not responsible for a student’s lost or stolen property. Could we file a claim for the loss under our own homeowner’s insurance policy? ANSWER: Yes. Most standard homeowner’s insurance policies cover a dependent’s personal possessions while living away in a college dormitory, provided that the student is enrolled full time and is under the age of 24. If your son moves to an off-campus apartment, however, he will probably need to purchase a renter’s insurance policy of his own to remain protected in case his property is lost to fire or theft. (c)2021 Cowles Syndicate Inc.
STILLWATER BOARD OF REALTORS AWARDS SCHOLARSHIPS
INVESTMENT PROPERTY 1423 S HUSBAND PLACE • $55,000
The Stillwater Board of REALTORS presented $500 scholarships to several of Meridian’s Construction Trades students to assist as they pursue careers in the industry. From left to right are SBOR past president Donna Rhinehart; students include Michael Lauvetz in the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration program, Haniel Goertz in the Electrical Technology program, Cantrell Haley in the Masonry program, and Levi Miracle in the Carpentry program; SBOR president Page Provence and SBOR secretary Shannon Cowan.
One bedroom, one bath home in a quiet spot close to downtown. 704 sq ft with spacious great room. Large, mostly fenced backyard with covered outdoor storage. Located at the end of the street with a green space view. Stillwater Schools.
Now is the time to build credit By Colin Beresford NerdWallet
Sooner than you may realize, your credit score will start to matter. A solid credit score can be the difference between qualifying for an apartment or a low-interest car loan or missing out. So to have credit ready when you need it, the time to start building a good and lengthy credit history is now. There’s more than one way to build credit, and it could be as simple as reporting your ongoing bill payments to the major credit bureaus. But keep in mind: Building credit takes diligence, particularly since missing payments can hurt your score for years to come.
to generate a score, according to the Consumer Finance and Protection Bureau. Unfortunately, the same is true for roughly 20% of the population. Building your credit might seem overwhelming if you haven’t thought about it before, but there are many strategies to employ, even if you’re just beginning. Start by establishing good habits with managing debt, such as not taking on more debt than you can afford, says Brittany Mollica, a certified financial planner based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Missing payments will damage your score and can become a burden when you need to borrow money in the future. “Getting in good habits of always paying your bills is really important,” Mollica says. “You
don’t want to have to be climbing out of a hole of all sorts of credit card debt that you’ve piled up, especially starting out early on.” CREDIT CARDS – AND ALTERNATIVE CARDS Credit cards can be a great tool to establish credit, but they can also damage your score if you take on more debt than you can handle. If a parent or another trusted person in your life has a high credit limit and a long history of making timely payments, you could become an authorized user on their account and benefit from their good credit. This is one of the easiest ways to lengthen your credit history, says Blaine Thiederman, a certified financial planner in Arvada, Colorado. Becoming an authorized user will
also impact your credit utilization rate, or the amount of money you owe to lenders divided by the total credit available to you, which can help your credit score. If you have your own income , you can apply for a credit card when you’re 18 years old; otherwise, you have to wait until you are 21. A secured credit card is typically the best credit card to start with. A cash deposit backs these cards, and since the credit card company can take that deposit if you miss payments, people with short or poor credit histories can qualify. The deposit you have to make for a secured credit card could be a burden, and if that’s the case, an alternative card might be better for you. These cards use income and bank account infor-
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mation to determine your creditworthiness rather than your credit score. MONTHLY BILLS If you live independently, payments for rent, utilities and phone bills can all be reported to credit bureaus. So paying those bills can build your credit if they’re on time and you have them reported. Unlike credit card payments, these payments aren’t reported automatically and can require a third-party service, such as Experian Boost or UltraFICO, to make the credit bureaus aware of your payments. Remember, these services sometimes require a fee and reporting your bill payments may not always impact your credit score; instead, they may just appear on your credit report. LOANS
Making regular payments on loans can also help you build your credit. And even if you don’t have any credit history, some loans are available. Credit-builder loans rely on income rather than credit for approval. If you’re approved, the loan sits in a bank account and becomes available once you pay it off. Your monthly payments are reported to the major credit bureaus. Student loans are another loan you can use to build your credit when you’re just starting. Federal student loans don’t require credit to qualify, while most private student loans do . Paying off your loans will help you grow your credit history, and you can get started while you’re still in school by making interest-only payments.
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Stillwater NewsPress • Thursday, December 23, 2021
WHAT IS CREDIT AND WHY DOES IT MATTER?
Your credit score is a number that typically ranges between 300 and 850 and is calculated based on how reliably you’ve paid past debts, such as credit card bills. Lenders use your credit score to predict how likely you will repay debt. Your credit score helps determine the loans you can receive, the interest you’ll be charged, the credit cards you can qualify for and the properties you can rent. An employer can even check your credit history. Having a good credit score can save you money later on, mainly through lower interest rates when you secure a loan. If you’re starting with no credit history, you aren’t alone. In the U.S., nearly 40% of people between the ages of 20 and 24 have little to no credit history
More families bringing elderly home desperate. After months of separation, Bednarowski had dropped 20 pounds. ROTTERDAM Her delight in other’s JUNCTION, N.Y. company had given – Pushed up to the way to a hollow stare. breakfast table, Her hair was filled Betty Bednarowski folds and refolds her with lice. That’s in the past napkin with studied intensity, softly sing- now. But only because Ryder is her ing “Winter Wonderland” without the mother’s keeper. Mothers and chilwords, the same as she did in March and dren have battled July and September. over getting dressed forever, only here the Dessert today is a roles are reversed. If tiny cup of pudding, anyone can relate it’s like yesterday’s, the many families with seven pills who made the same Bednarowski can’t decision: to bring swallow, crushed into the butterscotch. home the people they love and find peace Between mouthfuls, in comforts and conBednarowski, who has advanced Alzhei- sequences that could mer’s disease, glanc- outlast the pandemic itself. es at her daughter, “We mostly hear Susan Ryder, and two things. One, flashes a blissful they’re really happy grin. It’s probably just as they did it. They’re well that, a year after genuinely happy to Ryder took her moth- have their loved ones at home,” says John er out of a nursing Schall of the Caregivhome locked down er Action Network, against COVID-19 which has fielded to rescue her from isolation and neglect, calls from thousands the retired sandwich of distressed families. shop worker never re- “The other thing we members what comes hear is, ‘Oh My God, how difficult this has next. turned out to be.’ ...It “OK Mom, I’m really is fairly unregoing to put your lenting.” stockings on,” Ryder To families like says. Bednarowski’s, the “I don’t want to help!” the 79-year-old longer the lockdowns stretched on the less growls. The pudding smile is gone. “I can’t that leaving loved ones in a nursing do this!” home felt like a By the time Bednchoice. arowski’s family “I mean, I don’t brought her home know if you have they, and thousands kids,” she said. “But more with loved can you imagine ones in nursing fabeing at work and the cilities slammed by school calls and says the pandemic, were By Adam Geller
Stillwater NewsPress • Thursday, December 23, 2021
AP National Writer
‘We’re going to lock the school and we’re going to keep your kids for their own safety’?” “What would you do?” The search for an answer to that question began on a March afternoon in 2020. Alarm over COVID was rising quickly, but in New York state it was still focused mostly on the area around the nation’s biggest city, about three hours south. Ryder, then an office manager at a package delivery contractor, was planning a stop to see her mom at the Schenectady Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing. An hour before her workday ended, an email arrived from a social worker at the home. The facility was barring visitors, effective immediately. “He was just very matter of fact: we’re doing this for the safety of the residents,” says Ryder, whose family had joined others to raise concerns about care at the facility well before the pandemic. “He promised me that he would check on my mother every day which, in hindsight, was lip service.” The decision to lock down, while sudden, followed state and federal guidelines and visits were allowed to resume as soon as officials eased restrictions and virus cases were in check, said Jeff Jacomowitz,
a spokesman for the nursing home. But “families who were willing to take their loved ones out of the facility permanently to take care of them were opened to do so,” he said in a written statement. Driving home, Ryder cried at the wheel. Anyone who knew her mother could see she thrived on human interaction. She loved fussing over customers at Subway, where managers made her the hostess after dementia began limiting her abilities behind the counter. At the nursing facility, she scooted her wheelchair up and down the halls to visit residents and staff. That need for social connection was one of the reasons the family had resisted placing her in a nursing home. One of Ryder’s sisters spent five years as a live-in caregiver. But after their mother was hospitalized again in 2017 the siblings decided to move her to a care facility, with a pact that family members would visit Bednarowski every day. In three years before the pandemic hit, they missed just one. Family members brought Bednarowski homemade macaroni and cheese and picked up her dirty laundry. They danced with her, took her out for burgers, held her hand and tucked her in at night.
Then the lockdown forced them to break their promise. They were far from the only ones. It’s hard to know just how many families have taken loved ones out of nursing homes during the pandemic. But this year has seen a 14 percent increase in patients discharged to go home, according to CarePort, a software provider that connects hospitals with nursing facilities. In a June survey by the American Health Care Association, an industry group, operators of nearly four in ten nursing homes said they were losing money because patients were moving out. And with 1.3 million Americans in nursing homes before the outbreaks, advocates say it has forced a painful reckoning in many more households. “We’ve heard from a lot of families who are just crushed by guilt, in these really tough positions, who want to take their loved ones home but they know they can’t live independently,” says Sam Brooks of the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, which advocates for nursing home residents. As lockdowns stretched on, taking action began to feel like a necessity to some families. “I was like an ar-
chaeologist looking for clues,” says Beth Heard Frith of Lafayette, La., who was barred for months from spending time with her 92-year-old mother, but continued stopping by the nursing home to pick up her laundry. “Why is there a hospital gown in there when I know she’s supposed to have eight nightgowns? Why did everything reek of urine?” Last fall, Frith moved her mother out of the facility and into her home after a doctor determined that Elizabeth Heard’s declining health qualified her for hospice care. When Heard died in February, her family was there to pray at her bedside. Of course, when the lockdowns started, no one knew how long they would last. During window visits, when Bednarowski motioned to her daughter to come inside, Ryder promised she’d be right there -- knowing that within a few seconds the moment would slip from her mother’s mind. Bednarowski’s family and the relatives of other nursing home residents pressed for entry, arguing that the care they provided was essential, but got no traction. By early September, after six months of separation, the frustration was boiling over. Ryder joined about
40 others on the sidewalk outside the nursing home demanding entry. A few weeks later, state officials began allowing brief visits, but with sharp restrictions. At their first meeting, in late September of 2020, mother and daughter were required to stay at opposite ends of an eight-foot table. Bednarowski’s hair, wet and unbrushed, was filled with lice. Instead of clothes, she was wrapped in a towel, eyes cast down in a vacant stare, a photo taken during the visit shows. In mid-October she joined dozens of other New Yorkers with relatives in nursing homes in front of the state Capitol, calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to give family caregivers immediate access. Their request was denied. About 10 days later, Ryder’s brother, Bill Bednarowski, the oldest of the four siblings, had his own distanced visit with their mother and left shaken. “Actual photo of how well I’m keeping it all together right now,” brother texted sister afterward. He attached a picture of an electrical pole snapped apart like a toothpick and held up, just barely, with bands of duct tape. There was only one thing the siblings could do. “Let’s bring her home,” Ryder answered.
News Press Stillwater
Stillwater NewsPress • Thursday, December 23, 2021
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Stillwater NewsPress • Thursday, December 23, 2021
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Week of Sunday, Dec. 26, 2021