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According to
Freddie Mac’s chief economist, mortgage interest rates should remain at historically low levels in 2016 regardless of the Federal Reserve’s decision to raise the federal funds rate (for the first time since 2006) late last year. What does that mean for you? Whether you’re ready to buy or sell a home, now could be the time to act. But before you do, consider how the three biggest homebuying trends may affect you.

The number of women working in American businesses is continually increasing. According to
data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the U.S. workforce was only 38 percent female in 1970. The most recent numbers show women now make up 47 percent.  Whatever your company’s industry, they likely account for a sizable portion of your staff as well. And while keeping all of your employees engaged in their jobs is necessary to reduce costly turnover, retaining your female workers may require slightly different tactics.

To start, more money isn’t usually the answer. Glassdoor’s current U.S. Employment Confidence Survey results reveal that 82 percent of female employees would prefer additional benefits or perks over a pay increase (compared to 76 percent of the male workers).When asked to rank the benefits they’d prefer to see increased, healthcare insurance, vacation/paid time off, performance bonuses, paid sick days, retirement plans and flexible schedules topped the list.

On a construction job site, safety is everyone’s responsibility. Rules established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) state that every contractor, regardless of its role, has a non-transferable duty to protect its employees from all hazards—regardless of who created them. This means that a general contractor, a subcontractor acting as a general contractor, or a sole proprietor who has subbed out specialty work can receive an OSHA citation and fine if an employee under them is injured on the job.

When issuing a citation, an OSHA inspector first determines the role each employer fits into.

It’s no secret that household water leaks are bad for the environment. According to the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average household leaks more than 10,000 gallons of water every year. To put that into perspective, your own home may be wasting enough water annually to wash 270 loads of laundry! Ten percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 or more gallons of water per day.

These leaks are also bad for your wallet. Fix them before they cause additional damage and you could save 10 percent on your water bills by the EPA’s calculations. Allow them to get worse—which could lead to mold and water damage to fixtures and flooring, and your repair costs could be in the thousands. Fortunately, a simple maintenance plan is all you need to prevent the most common household leaks in the first place.


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