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What is your holiday tradition?

  
  
  
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We all know moves are frequent in the military. We may not be in the same home for two Thanksgivings or two Easters. Military families know how to make a house feel like home just a couple months after the move. We have routine and consistently when moving from one home to the next and our own traditions set in place. 

Must you Marry for Love in the Military?

  
  
  
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Is your military family neighbors next door a married couple who have entered a marriage covenant or a couple in a marriage contract? Does the “why” behind a marriage matter? According to the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the answer is “yes,” as those who marry for the purpose of procuring green cards are committing the crime of marriage fraud. Trials last year found many service members guilty of marriage fraud; service members found guilty received reduced rank, reduced pay, hard labor, and fines among other punishments.

Time To Start Looking For Your Next Home?

  
  
  
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As 2014 rolls towards a close, people all around begin to plan for the excitement of the Holiday Season ahead. Along with the festivities of the season, Active Duty Military Families also look forward to new assignment notifications. The Air Force often releases notifications in the months of November, December and January for change of duty stations in June, July and August.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

  
  
  
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Located on the site of a previous sardine factory on John Steinbeck’s famous Cannery Row, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is one of the first stops made by tourists to Monterey Bay area. In fact, Trip Advisor just named the aquarium number one aquarium in the world!   I can tell you that my daughter and I visited at least monthly if not more, and I easily recommend seeing the facility.   

What if My Landlord Won't Complete Repairs?

  
  
  
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While most of our bad landlord stories end somewhere around the same point where we vacate our college residences feeling grateful that the landlord tolerated our noise levels and equally grateful to escape from his dungeon-like quarters ready to become “real” adults. College students typically don’t register regular maintenance requests; those only translate to home inspections, which means cleaning is required, and who wants that? Unfortunately, some of those “bad landlords” who rent to errant college students also rent out their properties in our military communities. Complaints of landlords who fail to make repairs and maintain habitable residences abound on military social media boards, so it’s time to address these issues and determine:

4 Reasons we Fear Home Buying

  
  
  
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Not surprisingly, many younger service members and their families are not eager to jump into the home ownership market at the moment. When your first adult experience with real estate involves witnessing a massive recession, crushing declines in property values, and tighter credit restrictions, even the strongest of heart may take heed at such a teachable moment and hesitate. While most millennials had the good fortune to merely witness but not purchase at the height of the recession, many of our more seasoned Active Duty members and the recently retired were in a position to purchase. They unfortunately bought only to experience credit crushing (if not soul crushing) property value declines causing undue stress on families already pushed to their limit from over a decade of high rotation deployments.

Is Your Rent Late Fee Legal?

  
  
  
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In some states, not only can you not include a late fee for rent in your lease, but also your tenant can either use your illegal late fee as a means to break his lease or charge you a fee in small claims court for charging him with one. Scary, right? While it may seem reasonable to you, my dear Military Landlord, to assign a fee to your wayward tenant for his failure to pay on time, not all judges will agree with you. Though it may seem unfair that you may incur late fees (and possible negative credit implications) for your own mortgage payment as a result of receiving rent five days past the due date, you cannot indiscriminately punish your tenant for his seeming disobedience with a late fee, regardless of what you have written in your lease.

Choosing a Tutor

  
  
  
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Preparations to Hire a Qualified Tutor.  Making the decision to find a tutor for your child may seem overwhelming at the beginning of the process, but there are many options available, especially if you have a military affiliation.  To begin, it is necessary to have both your child and their teacher be involved with the selection. Your child will be benefited in knowing the positive aspects of a tutor’s help.  The opportunity for less stress and ease during homework time should be something both parents and children look forward to.

Fall Activites Near Fort Belvoir

  
  
  
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Festive Fall Activities Near Fort Belvoir

Family Fall Fun

  
  
  
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For me, growing up in the Midwest, fall is the best time of year.  There you can find days and days filled with festivals, block parties, cider mills, hay rides and more apple picking than one person can handle.  So as you can guess, I try to recreate that fall excitement and energy everywhere we live.   Some places it works better than others.  Our time out in Fort Huachuca did not yield the ideal scenario for pumpkin picking, but we made it work. 

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