Omaha Home & Real Estate Blog

In case you missed it, earlier this month the Federal Reserve decided to raise the interest rate by 0.25%. 

What does that mean? Great question. Banks lend money to each other every day at the Federal Reserve's predetermined rate. Now, that rate has been bumped up a notch. It's a good sign, because it means they feel confident enough in the economy's strength that they don't have to lend money with rock-bottom interest rates.

 

Without getting too complex, raising the rate also makes sure that inflation stays in check and the cost of daily life doesn't get out of control.

But the important question for homeowners is how that increased percentage will affect everyday things like mortgages, auto loans and credit card rates. To find the answers,

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There's nothing that says celebration like fireworks, and there'll be plenty of them at the Holiday Lights Festival New Year's Eve Fireworks Spectacular. 

Omaha's favorite NYE celebration will take place at 7 p.m., Dec. 31 at the Gene Leahy mall on 14th and Farnam. 

According to the event's website, you'll need to make plans to get there early because event organizers predict that more than 30,000 will converge on the mall to watch the night sky burst to life at 7. 

Attendees are encouraged to tune into Star 104.5 to hear specially choreographed music.

If you haven't been to this particular fireworks show, we think you'd really enjoy yourself. It's hard to put into words what it's like to see the crisp Omaha sky bursting to life with

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Don't you just love that wintry scent of pine or fir filling every corner of your living room? 

The aroma of your tannenbaum is one of the trademark characteristics of Christmas.

Sadly, though, Christmas trees have also been the source of heartbreak over the years: home-destroying fires, in some cases, have been caused by heat, trees and bad luck.The American Christmas Tree Association (yes, there is such a thing) estimates that yuletide trees cost $13 million annually in property damage.

So, in an effort to keep you safe, happy and Christmasy as your tree dries out, we've created a list of three different safety tips based on information we found from the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) and the American Christmas Tree Association (ACTA).

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If you're a champion of tradition, then Christmas Eve Eve and Christmas Eve are probably one of your favorite days of the year.

And who can blame you? The thrill and rush of Christmas has reached it's goosebumpy build-up. Children everywhere are literally bursting with anticipation. Santa's the world round are giving their yuletide best during their stretch run of photos, ho-ho-hos and hours of listening to hopeful kids beg for their beloved (but yet to be confirmed) Christmas presents.

And, of course, your holiday ears are happy as can be with the steady stream of Christmas music joyfully tumbling out of speakers all around town. 

So, with today's post we honor all the champions of Christmas who want to spend their last 48 hours before the

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What are your favorite Christmas traditions?

Is it the stockings above the fire, the endless array of candy canes? 

Or maybe you're more of a Santa fan and you love setting out cookies and milk every year, taking your kids to see Santa and cozying up to your significant other for a night of old timey Christmas movies. 

Or may your favorites are more of a heavenly bent and you love the candlelight service at your church on Christmas Eve. 

We became curious about where these traditions came from, so we did some digging and found some very interesting holiday lore. So sit back, relax, grab your moose mug and fill it up with egg nog. 

Three Christmas Traditions and How They (Supposedly) Started

Why stockings, and why over the fireplace?

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Every year, one giant Christmas tree has the honor of gracing the cavernous expanse of Dunham's Union Station. 

This year, the beautiful old train station is home to a 40-foot Colorado blue spruce that grew up on the not-so-mean streets of Ralston. Resident Rita Guenette took care of the tree for 40 years as it grew from a $1.49 seedling in 1975 to the proud patriarch of Union Station's Christmas celebration in 2015. 

Rita talked with the Omaha Herald a few weeks ago when the tree was transported to the station. She said she remembers her kids running and hopping over the tree when it was a seedling. 

“I fertilized it every year and it grew really nice," she told the Herald.

Too Big For His Britches? Not Quite...

A photo of the day of

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You scoff at the thought of welcoming an artificial tree into your home. It's lifeless, papery needles are like little slivers of yuletide tomfoolery, you say. 

You'd rather pack up the family Clark Griswold-style and head to the forest belting "O, Tannenbaum" at the top of your merry lungs. 

You want to feel the weathered handle of an axe in your hands and the jolt the old girl gives you the moment it sinks its stubborn blade into the backside of an Eastern Red cedar. Or, you prefer the high-pitched wail of a chainsaw thrashing it's way through the sweet-smelling pine that will soon grace your home. 

 

You sir or ma'am, are a Christmas lumberjack, born and bred for the moment when that deep green beauty of a tree makes its graceful fall onto

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We're less than 96 hours away from Thanksgiving. 

Your menu is all lined up and you know exactly how you're going to cook your turkey, right?

Well, if you live in the real world of kids, jobs, pets, and all the other crazy stuff that can get in the way of careful holiday planning, there's chance your response to inquiries about your T-Day menu is a blank stare, followed by a wave of pre-holiday stress. 

Our first recommendation is to get a turkey. Can't have Thanksgiving without it. 

Our second recommendation is to pick a recipe, and to help you do that we browsed the Food Network's website to four good recipes you can use to create the epic turkey you've always dreamed of. Gobble gobble!

1. The Good Eats Roast Turkey

The GE Roast

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There are two kinds of people in this world; the ones who read the headline of this post and smile, and the ones who read this post and start grumbling about how you hate Christmas music. 

We're hoping your the first type, because Black Friday is almost here and Omaha is about to be blitzed by the traditional explosion of holiday cheer that comes after Thanksgiving. 

So, as an ode to all things holiday (as well as a nod to jolly old St. Nick), we'll be running some stories about Christmas-related themes in addition to our usual lineup of home-related articles. We're also planning to run another story from Ashly at Sun Valley Landscaping, as well as a good mortgage story from Jason at Dundee banking. 

Today we're going to kick off our holiday

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Are you in the market for a new washer and dryer? I just got a great deal on a new washer 2 hours ago, and I want to share it with you.

Thanksgiving is fast approaching and stores are already offering Black Friday deals.

TheWireCutter.com is one of my favorite sites online. It is a review website similar to Consumer Reports. I have bought several products (bluetooth speaker and headphones to name a few) because of high marks by TheWireCutter.com. The website is focused on gadgets while the sister site, TheSweetHome.com, is focussed on products for the home.

That leads me to TheSweetHomes.com's review of The Best Washer and Dryer. The highest marks went to the LG WM3570HWA washer and the LG DLEX3570W. I read through the review and decided this was

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