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French presidential hopeful Zemmour says COVID fears are overblown

French right-wing commentator Eric Zemmour speaks at an event at the ILEC conference centre, London, Britain

Eric Zemmour, the hard-right French political commentator and likely presidential candidate, said on Monday that fears about the new coronavirus had been overblown.

Zemmour’s stance contrasts with the position of governments across Europe, which are reintroducing restrictions on movement to curb a fifth wave of the pandemic, with Austria on Monday going into a full lockdown.

“We need to put this epidemic back in the right proportion. We have played a lot on people’s fears. We have gone too far, and we’ve been going too far since the beginning,” Zemmour told France Info radio.

French opinion polls have Zemmour challenging rival far-right politician Marine Le Pen, from the Rassemblement National party, for second place, and thus a place in a runoff in next year’s election against the survey leader and incumbent president, Emmanuel Macron. Polls make Macron the likely winner in the second round.

Zemmour, known for his hardline position on issues such as immigration, Islam and national identity, said would roll out a third, COVID vaccine booster shot only for those aged over 65 – as opposed to the French regulator’s recommendation to make it available to those aged over 40.

He also said he would aim eventually to scrap the COVID health pass currently used in France, used to show proof vaccination status to enter bars, restaurants, museums and sports venues.

Zemmour spent last weekend in London, courting the city’s large expatriate French population. He is expected to confirm his presidential candidacy on Dec. 5.

The Best Ways that Your Business Can Save Money 

macbook pro on brown wooden table
Photo by Andrew Neel on Pexels.com

When it comes to starting a new business, the cost of doing so is on every entrepreneur’s mind. A lot of the time, the financial realities of getting started don’t match up with your intentions, and as a result, people are left wondering how they can save as much money as possible moving forward. There are a lot of different methods that companies can employ as a means to save money, and this article will dive into them in a bit more detail. 

Don’t Skip Financial Planning 

One of the first steps necessary to hit your financial goals is to simply write them down. Sure, this may sound like an obvious step to take, but when you do this, you give yourself an end goal and a direction to move in. Not to mention, a lot of first-time business owners sometimes find the process of writing a financial plan to be an overwhelming one, and as such, they just skip it altogether. 

When you take a moment to actually create a financial plan, you are forcing yourself to take inventory of where you are right now, where you would like to eventually be in the future, and the method by which you are going to get there. This step also helps you make better decisions quickly and keeps a keen eye on the bigger picture whenever you feel a bit bogged down in the work you’re doing. 

Shop Around for the Best Deals 

It’s easy to find the policies you need to get started with work and just pay for them. After all, you have a business to run, so comparing and contrasting different prices is not your top priority. That being said, simply having a look around can make it incredibly easy for you to save some money and not sacrifice anything. Take, for example, good health insurance for companies, this is necessary as it will make sure all of your employees are looked after if anything is to go wrong, but doing this can also be expensive. When you shop around for the best policy, you will be reducing the overall amount you spend as a result. 

Grow Your Network 

The bigger your professional network is, the better. You should be trying to form professional relationships with every person you meet to become a potential advisor, a prospective customer, or even a business partner. Having these relationships can also help cut down on your costs if you require something from the industry in which one of your contacts works. 


As a small business, it will likely be at the forefront of your mind how you can effectively save money. There are a number of steps that you can do this, including those above, which if you follow will mean you are reducing your overall outgoings. Consider implementing the aforementioned and then look up any other tips as there are a lot of different ways that your business will be able to save money. 

Venezuela’s ruling party wins 20 governorships – electoral authority

Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE) awarded victory to the ruling Socialist party in 20 governorships and three to opposition politicians in an initial announcement on Monday following local and regional elections.

Shortly after the first results were published, leftist President Nicolas Maduro celebrated the government’s triumph.

“The victory is impressive,” Maduro said, surrounded by supporters, adding that “good wins must be celebrated.”

The results are a setback for the opposition leaders who returned to the fray after boycotting presidential polls in 2018 and congressional elections in 2020, arguing that a fair vote was impossible due to rigging and intimidation by violent gangs loyal to Maduro.

This year, the opposition politicians decided to contest the elections as they were frustrated by the failure of U.S. sanctions to dislodge Maduro, as well as emboldened by the presence of election observers from the European Union.

Only 41.8% of registered voters turned out to cast their ballot on Sunday, equivalent to some 8.1 million people, the South American country’s top electoral authority said.

“Small and isolated problems” were registered during the course of voting, the CNE said earlier in the day.

In 2017’s regional elections the ruling party won 19 governorships, while opposition politicians took four.

The only mayoral result announced in the CNE’s first bulletin came from the capital Caracas – where the ruling party was also declared the victor.

Citizens cast their votes for over 3,000 state governors, mayors and city councils across the country, with 21 million Venezuelans registered to take part in the elections.


The poor performance by the opposition could hurt its ability to contest the presidential elections in 2024.

“This result is lamentable for the opposition,” Luis Vicente Leon, director of local consulting firm Datanalisis, said in a post on Twitter.

Opposition leader and former presidential candidate Henrique Capriles, who led the opposition campaign, said via Twitter that an assessment will be made when all the results are in and did not give further details.

“The takeaway from these results is that we must rethink our strategy so far,” Tomas Guanipa, the opposition candidate for the mayor of Caracas, said.

“What is undeniable is that the vast majority of this country wants change, and that is why we have to fight.”

Libyan interim PM registers bid for presidency

Libyan Prime Minister Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah arrives to submit his candidacy papers for the upcoming presidential election at the headquarters of the electoral commission in Tripoli, Libya

Libya’s interim prime minister Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah registered as a candidate for the presidency on Sunday despite having vowed not to do so as a condition of taking his current post and despite contested election rules that may prevent him from standing.

Dbeibah’s entry into a race that now features many of Libya’s main players of the past decade of chaos adds to the turmoil over a vote that is due to take place within five weeks, but for which rules have not yet been agreed.

Parliamentary and presidential elections on Dec. 24 were demanded by a U.N. political forum last year as part of a roadmap to end Libya’s civil war, a process that also led to the formation of Dbeibah’s interim unity government.

Libya has had little stability since the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that ousted Muammar Gaddafi as the country fragmented among myriad armed groups. Government was split in 2014 between warring rival administrations based in east and west.

However, the disputes over the election threaten to derail the U.N.-backed peace process that emerged last year after the collapse of an eastern military offensive to seize the capital Tripoli.

The elections are being organised under a law issued by parliament speaker Aguila Saleh in September that set a first-round presidential vote for Dec. 24 but that delayed the parliamentary election to January or February.

Dbeibah and some major political figures and groupings in western Libya have criticised Saleh’s election law, saying it was passed improperly, and have called for both votes to be delayed until there is agreement on the rules.

The electoral commission and Libyan courts are likely to rule on the eligibility of candidates in the coming weeks – a process that may itself stir new disputes.


Dbeibah is likely to be a frontrunner in the election after implementing a series of populist spending measures in recent months including infrastructure projects and payments to support young newlyweds.

The 63-year old hails from one of Libya’s wealthiest business families, but he was not a prominent figure in his own right before the U.N. political forum chose him to lead the interim government overseeing the run-up to elections.

As prime minister, he has pledged investment in Libyan regions that suffered neglect during the past decade of chaos, agreed major contracts with countries involved on both sides of the civil war and courted young people with financial support.

He has not yet said publicly why he has chosen to break the televised promise he made when he was appointed that he would play no role in the election.

Saleh’s law might also rule him out as a candidate because it requires him to step down from his position three months before the vote, which he did not do.

His best-known rivals include Gaddafi’s son and one-time heir apparent Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the commander of the eastern forces in the civil war Khalifa Haftar, and Saleh himself.

Gaddafi and Haftar are both accused of war crimes, which they deny, and would be seen in swathes of Libya as unacceptable after years of warfare.

Chile moves towards right with hard-right former congressman Jose Antonio Kast on top in the first-round vote

Chilean presidential candidate Jose Antonio Kast gestures as he stands next to his wife Maria Pia Adriasola Barroilhet after the partial results of the first round vote during the presidential elections, in Santiago, Chile

Chile is headed for a polarized presidential election runoff next month after hard-right former congressman Jose Antonio Kast finished on top in the first-round vote on Sunday, ahead of leftist lawmaker and former protest leader Gabriel Boric.

With nearly 97% of the vote counted, Kast had won 27.94% of ballots versus 25.75% for Boric, with a sizeable gap between them and the rest of the field, although both were well short of the majority needed to win outright.

More moderate, center-right candidates performed well, a potential boost for Kast, who appears to be in pole position heading into the Dec. 19 runoff.

“It was a better night for the right-wing than anyone expected,” said Gonzalo Cordero, a political consultant and columnist.

“Today, the likelihood of Kast winning the presidential election is very high. Kast would have to commit very significant errors in the next three weeks to lose.”

The election, the copper-producing Andean country’s most divisive since its 1990 return to democracy, has split voters between those seeking a shake-up of Chile’s free-market model and those demanding a harder line against crime and immigration.

It comes after two years of sometimes violent protests by Chileans demanding quality-of-life improvements. The demonstrations helped bring about an ongoing rewrite of the nation’s Pinochet-era constitution and propelled the candidacy of Boric, who for much of the race held a comfortable lead.

But increasing fatigue among Chileans fed up with political violence, combined with a widespread perception that crime is on the rise, has boosted Kast.

“Today, Chile’s people have spoken,” Kast said in a long speech to supporters after the results came in, targeting crime and disorder as he has done for much of the campaign, helping tap into fears over protest violence and immigration.

He said the election was a choice between “liberty and communism”, a dig at Boric’s wide leftist alliance, which includes the Communist Party.

Boric, facing a fight to close the ground on Kast over the next month, touched upon crime and the drug trade in his own speech, something he did rarely ahead of the vote, and admitted the need to widen his support base.

“The crusade is that hope wins over fear,” he said. “We have to look further afield and go out to bring people in from beyond our boundaries.”

Kast, a 55-year-old father of nine, has praised the neo-liberal “economic legacy” of former dictator Augusto Pinochet. His frank talk, across-the-board conservatism and sometimes idiosyncratic policy ideas, such as digging a ditch to curb illegal immigration, have drawn frequent comparisons with former U.S. President Donald Trump and Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro.

Boric, a 35-year-old lawmaker who led student protests in 2011 demanding improvements to Chile’s education system, has pledged to scrap the nation’s laissez-faire economic model, while strengthening environmental protections and indigenous rights.


In a surprise, economist Franco Parisi, who is living in the United States and did not set foot in Chile during the campaign, was in third place as of the late evening with some 13% of the vote. That could bode well for Kast, who, while more to the right on social and cultural issues, shares many of Parisi’s conservative economic beliefs.

Center-right candidate Sebastian Sichel and center-left Yasna Provoste were just behind, with 12.7% and 11.65% of the vote, respectively.

The current center-right president, Sebastian Pinera, is constitutionally barred from seeking re-election.

Kast and Boric will be scrambling to pick up Sichel, Parisi and Provoste voters in a second round, making the more moderate contenders potential kingmakers.

“I am not going to vote for Gabriel Boric’s candidacy, and I have programmatic differences with Kast, but I will communicate any decision later,” Sichel said as the results came in, adding he had congratulated Kast on making it to a second round.

“I don’t want the extreme left to win in Chile.”

Also up for grabs on Sunday night were all 155 seats in Chile’s lower house, 27 of the 50 seats in the country’s upper house and all positions in the nation’s 16 regional councils.

Lawmakers from hard-right and conservative coalitions looked on course to finish the night with 23 seats in the Senate, while lawmakers from center-left and hard-left coalitions seemed set to finish with 22 seats. The remaining five seats went to independents unaffiliated with any major political coalition.

World stocks off to a cautious start; euro struggles

US stocks fall amid downbeat data

World stocks kicked off the week on a cautious note on Monday after posting a second consecutive weekly drop, and the euro struggled as traders weighed the risks of European lockdown restrictions and prospects of a faster Federal Reserve taper.

Though Wall Street futures held comfortably in positive territory in early London trading, major European indexes opened in the red as markets seem to have suddenly woken up to COVID-19 risks.

“The problem in Europe is the spread of Covid-19 which means that more lockdowns and other health restrictions partly against the non-vaccinated should rapidly increase in the next two weeks,” said Sebastian Galy, a strategist at Societe Generale.

“That in turn should have a negative impact on some services and impact negatively growth, a scenario that had been ever more priced into the European equity market.”

Austria powered down public life on Monday as its fourth national COVID-19 lockdown began, the first in a western European country, with Germany warning it may follow suit.

Though equity analysts have kept their bullish European stock market recommendations for now, investors are closely watching sectors such as travel, hotels and banks for wider impact. The travel and leisure index was the top decliner (.SXTP) in early trading.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan (.MIWD00000PUS) fell 0.1%. An Asian gauge (.MIAPJ0000PUS) was down by a similar margin.

The euro slipped 0.3% to $1.1260, close to a 16-month low hit on Friday. The common currency has been the prime mover in markets over recent sessions as investors bet that Europe’s economy will lag the U.S. recovery.

On the corporate front, shares in Telecom Italia (TLIT.MI) jumped 30% after KKR made a $12 billion approach to take the Italian phone group private. A telecom sub-index (.SXKP) gained by its biggest margin since March.

Safe-haven assets such as bonds, gold and the yen have also benefited from the recent cautious tone.

On Monday, the yield on benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasuries was steady at 1.5600%, with the yield curve at its flattest level since the pandemic began as markets eyed nervously the prospects of a quicker unwinding of stimulus.

Fed Vice Chair Richard Clarida said last week that quickening the pace of tapering might be worth discussing at December’s meeting. November meeting minutes are due Wednesday.

Safe-haven assets attracted demand. Gold found support at $1,845 an ounce. The yen hovered at 114.09 per dollar.

Bitcoin was under pressure after posting its worst week in two months last week and fell 3% to $57,000.

Indonesia’s defence minister says ‘understands, respects’ AUKUS pact

Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto speaks at a signing ceremony for the "two-plus-two" meeting between Japan and Indonesia at the Iikura Guesthouse of the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo, Japan

Indonesia’s defence minister has said his country understands the reasons behind the United States, Australia and Britain establishing the AUKUS security agreement, though at a forum at the weekend repeated concerns about an arms race in the region.

The trilateral security pact, formulated in part to respond to a rising China, has sparked regional worries given it allows for Australia to acquire nuclear-powered submarines.

When asked about AUKUS at the International Institute for Strategic Studies Manama Dialogue in Bahrain on Saturday, defence minister Prabowo Subianto said he understood why countries would move to secure their interests.

“Officially our position is that of course Southeast Asia should remain nuclear free, and the fear of course among Southeast Asian nations is that this will spark an arms race,” he said.

“But as I said the emphasis of every country is to protect their national interest. If they feel threatened… they will do whatever they can to protect themselves,” said Prabowo.

“And this is what I mean that we understand that and we respect them.”

His comments appear to offer a more pragmatic view of the pact after Indonesia’s foreign ministry issued a statement in September saying it was “deeply concerned” by the alliance, warning that it could spark a regional arms race.

The security pact comes amid rising tensions in the South China Sea, as countries push back against China’s maritime claims in the strategic, and resource-rich waterway.

On Friday the United States called China’s use of water cannon against Philippine resupply boats in the South China Sea “dangerous, provocative and unjustified”.

Indonesia’s navy in September increased patrols around its Natuna islands after Chinese and U.S. vessels were detected in nearby waters, while there has also been recent activity by a Chinese research vessel near an oil rig in the area.

China has not claimed the Natuna islands, but says it has nearby fishing rights within a self-proclaimed Nine-Dash Line that includes most of South China Sea – a claim disputed by some Southeast Asian countries and not recognised internationally.

Belarus says it does not want confrontation, wants EU to take migrants

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko visits a polling station during the presidential election in Minsk, Belarus

Belarus does not want confrontation with Poland but it does want an answer from the European Union on whether the bloc will accept 2,000 stranded migrants, President Alexander Lukashenko was quoted as saying by the Belta news agency on Monday.

The EU accuses Belarus of flying in thousands of people from the Middle East and pushing them to cross into the EU via Poland, Lithuania and Latvia in response to European sanctions. Minsk denies fomenting the crisis.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki warned on Sunday that the migrant crisis on the Belarus border may be a prelude to “something much worse”, and Poland’s border guard said Belarusian forces were still ferrying migrants to the frontier.

Lukashenko, as quoted by state-owned Belta, said he did not want things to escalate.

“We need to get through to the Poles, to every Pole, and show them that we’re not barbarians, that we don’t want confrontation. We don’t need it. Because we understand that if we go too far, war is unavoidable,” he said.

“And that will be a catastrophe. We understand this perfectly well. We don’t want any kind of flare-up.”

Lukashenko also said he insisted Germany take in some migrants and complained that the EU was not making contact with Minsk on the issue.

Five dead, more than 40 injured after vehicle plows through Wisconsin parade

A red SUV speeds past attendees moments before plowing into a crowd at a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, U.S., in this still image taken from a November 21, 2021 social media video. CITY OF WAUKESHA/Facebook/via REUTERS

Five people were killed and more than 40 injured after an SUV sped through a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on Sunday, knocking down dozens of people including youngsters waving pompoms and a group of “Dancing Grannies”.

“At this time, we can confirm that five people are deceased and over 40 are injured,” the Waukesha Police Department said on its Facebook page. “However, these numbers may change as we collect additional information.”

Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson earlier told reporters that a person of interest was in custody and a vehicle had been recovered after the incident in the town, about 20 miles (32 km) west of Milwaukee.

It was not known whether the incident was related to terrorism, but there was no further danger and an earlier shelter-in-place order in the town of around 72,000 had been lifted, Thompson said.

A video posted online showed a red sport utility vehicle plowing at speed through the parade, appearing to run over more than a dozen people before crowds ran from sidewalks to offer assistance.

Thompson said an officer fired shots at the vehicle in an attempt to stop the carnage. Another video on social media appeared to show police firing on the vehicle as it crashed through street barriers. Police did not believe shots had been fired from the vehicle, Thompson added, contrary to earlier reports.

Belen Santamaria, her husband, and their three-year old daughter were planning to join the parade with their Catholic Church. But Santamaria, a 39-year old Mexican factory worker, woke up on Sunday with a backache, so the family watched the procession from the sidewalk instead.

“The SUV came by at full speed,” said Santamaria. “Then I started to hear people screaming.”

She hid in a restaurant with their daughter while her husband, 39-year old delivery worker Jesus Ochoa, ran ahead to try to help injured people. He said he heard through other members of their church that roughly 10 members of the congregation, mostly Latinos and both adults and children, are injured.

“I was going to be there, walking,” Santamaria said. “The SUV would have hit us too.”

WhatsApp working on message reaction notifications for Android users

(IANS) Meta-owned instant messaging platform WhatsApp has released the update for its Android users on the beta channel, which reveals the company is working on message reaction notifications for its Android app.

According to GSMArena, WhatsApp has been developing the message reactions feature for a few months now, which, as evident from its name, lets users react to messages the same way they react to the posts and comments on the Facebook app.

Previously, WhatsApp had no plans to notify users of message reactions, but the company later began developing it for the beta version of its iOS app and now it is also working on providing the same feature to its Android users.

The source said that the message reaction notifications feature is “planned to be released in a future update”, the report said.

Recently, a report said that WhatsApp is working on a feature that will let users hide their “last seen” status from specific people.

The report mentioned that the beta version of WhatsApp for Android now has an option to hide your “last seen” status from specific people.

The feature has been in active development for a few months at this point, and now it’s finally live for a subset of those part of the beta programme, the report said.

88% of board of directors find cybersecurity as business risk

(IANS) Nearly 88 per cent of boards of directors view cybersecurity as a business risk as opposed to a technology risk. However, only 12 per cent of them have a dedicated board-level cybersecurity committee, according to a new report.

Even as business leaders are aware of the need to secure the enterprise against new and evolving threats, responsibility for security mostly lies with IT leadership, says global market research firm Gartner.

Gartner found that in 85 per cent of organisations, the CIO, CISO or their equivalent was the top person held accountable for cybersecurity and just 10 per cent of organisations held non-IT senior managers accountable.

“It’s time for executives outside of IT to take responsibility for securing the enterprise,” said Paul Proctor, distinguished research vice president at Gartner.

“The influx of ransomware and supply chain attacks seen throughout 2021, many of which targeted operation- and mission-critical environments, should be a wake-up call that security is a business issue, and not just another problem for IT to solve,” he added.

IT and security leaders are often considered the ultimate authorities for protecting the enterprise from threats.

“Yet, business leaders make decisions every day, without consulting the CIO or CISO, that impact the organisation’s security,” Proctor stressed.

CIOs and CISOs must rebalance accountability for cybersecurity so that it is shared with business and enterprise leaders, the report mentioned.

Gartner recommended that IT and security leaders work with executives and board of directors to establish governance that shares responsibility for business decisions that affect enterprise security.

“After years of such heavy investment in security, Boards are now pushing back and asking what their dollars have achieved,” said Proctor.

Apple Music sued over track that allegedly samples original song

(IANS) Apple Music has been sued for alleged copyright infringement, “false and misleading advertising”, and associating a company with transphobia.

Apple has been accused of including a track in Apple Music that infringes on the copyright of an original song. At the same time, the copyright holder alleges that Apple profited from the track by using it in an online advert, reports AppleInsider.

Charming Beats said that it owns the copyright on a song called “Anything You Synthesize”.

According to the company, a further track called “Caramelo” by French rapper Ninho consists of a musical component which is an unlicensed reproduction” of their work.

It also said that lyrics from “Caramelo” were displayed on an Apple website, along with a short excerpt and a link to listen to the full song on Apple Music.

“Defendant Apple’s promise that the full version of the Infringing Derivative can be streamed on its service is quite enticing,” said the filing.

“(But it) is a false and misleading advertisement,” continues the suit.

Reportedly, “Caramelo” was not available on Apple Music at the time.

More, the Charming Beats company claims that Apple’s ad included a video from performer DeeBaby encouraging people to listen to the full song by joining Apple Music.

“DeeBaby is the notorious performer that has been widely criticized for his transphobic statements,” says the company in a court filing.

“Defendants have forced an association of the Copyrighted Track with transphobia which has damaged the Copyrighted Track,” it added.

The case dates back to 2017 when according to Charming Beats, it served take-down notices on Apple and associated company MediaLab.

The company wants a trial by jury, and damages of “up to $150,000 but not less than $30,000,” plus costs.

Fitbit tests ‘Sleep Animals’ to encourage better sleep

(IANS) In a bid to encourage better sleep health, Google-owned Fitbit is now testing “Sleep Animals”.

According to 9To5Google, at the moment, Sleep Animals requires Fitbit Premium, but not all subscribers are seeing them, as it is in beta.

If rolled out to your account, visiting the Sleep page will reveal a new card in-between the top bar graph and your daily score, the report said.

This beta feature is only available for a limited time and to a limited number of Fitbit Premium users. This feature will require a Premium membership.

There is a high-level assessment, e.g., “Your sleep has been short.”

Tapping takes you to a full-page that includes an adorable graphic of your creature sleeping and a paragraph describing why their characteristics are similar to yours.

It ends on a note about how to improve, with users assigned an animal every month.

Recently, the company announced that its users in India will now be able to use new features including a blood glucose tracking tool in the Fitbit app.

The company also said that Daily Readiness Score is now available in the Fitbit app for Premium members with compatible devices.

Your Home Is an Investment. Here’s How to Help It Appreciate

black calculator near ballpoint pen on white printed paper
Photo by Pixabay

It’s good to think of your home as an investment. This is one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make, and it will likely retain its value over time – or even grow in value, helping you make a profit on that investment. However, these assets aren’t guaranteed to appreciate. In fact, if you’re unlucky, or if you don’t take proper care of your house, your home could actually decrease in value.

What steps can you take to ensure the value of your home rises over time?

Choose the Right Home

The first step is an obvious, but important one – you have to start with the right home, in the right location. There are many things you can do to upgrade the exterior and interior of your home, but you won’t be able to change its placement or the neighborhood in which it resides.

Much of a property’s value is dependent on where it’s located. If it’s in an up-and-coming neighborhood with good schools, low crime rates, and access to transportation and employment opportunities, the home will likely appreciate in value. If it’s in a neighborhood that keeps getting worse, you won’t be so lucky.

Keep Up With Maintenance and Cleaning

Next, make sure you keep up with maintenance and cleaning. This will ensure your home accrues less damage, remains in good condition, and looks presentable for a longer period of time. Here are some of the most important things you can do:

·Change the filters. Changing the air filters in your HVAC system only takes a minute or two, and if you do it regularly, it could prolong the lifespan of your system by many, many years. Air filters are designed to catch small particles of dirt, dust, and debris that might otherwise work their way into your system and interfere with moving parts. Changing the filters and keeping them clean will ensure smooth airflow.

·Clean the interior frequently. Clean the interior of your home frequently. Invest in a powerful vacuum cleaner to remove dirt and debris from your carpets, sweep and mop your floors, and clean your countertops and walls. You should also use sealing products on things like hardwood floors and countertops every few years. If you do, your home will be less prone to staining, your air ducts will remain cleaner, and the home will overall remain in better shape for longer.

·Winterize the home. If you live in an area with harsh winters, you should know that winter weather can cause a lot of damage to a home. That’s why it’s important to take the time to winterize your place before that weather sets in. Simple tasks, like turning off the water to your hose bibs, can prevent the formation of ice dams and eliminate the risk of a frozen or burst pipe.

·Clean out the gutters. If your home has traditional gutters, clean them out on a regular basis. If you don’t, they could clog and cause a backup, ultimately leading to roof damage.

·Inspect for damage. Get to know your home. Review the different rooms of your house and inspect them for damage periodically. If you notice anything wrong, be proactive and try to take care of it.

·Take care of necessary repairs the right way. Occasionally, every home will run into issues, like leaking roofs, dripping faucets, and faulty wiring. When you notice something wrong, try to resolve the issue right away and thoroughly – otherwise, you could end up with a much more severe problem down the line.

Invest in High-ROI Improvement Projects

You can also help your home appreciate in value by investing in improvement projects that offer a good return on investment (ROI), such as:

·Kitchen and bathroom remodels. Kitchens and bathrooms are some of the most noticeable and most important rooms of your house, so it pays to give them extra attention. New appliances and superficial makeovers can boost the value of your home considerably.

·Fireplace installations. Most people love the idea of a crackling fire in a cozy living room; that’s why fireplace installations are so valuable.

·Upgraded windows. If you live in an old house with leaky windows, a set of new windows could provide tremendous value – and save you money on energy costs as well.

You probably won’t see a net profit on these projects, but if you continue to live in the home, you’ll also enjoy the benefits of these upgrades.

If you’re in a good neighborhood and you take good care of your house, you should see it appreciate in value over time. Remain patient, continue enjoying your home for the next several years, and when you notice prices starting to spike, consider cashing in. 

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