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Editorial Results (free)

1. Buying a house? Here’s 12 things you must do -

Anyone buying any home anywhere should have a checklist of things to do. In this area, there are several.

  • Get a home inspection. Old or new, things may not be what they seem. As attorney Jean Harrison says of new homes, “Passing codes means they got at least a D-.” A home that has been pre-inspected could have serious flaws undiscovered by the seller’s inspector.
  • Hire a real estate agent. No one with any sense would go to court and use the other person’s attorney to represent them in order to save three percent. By the way, you won’t save the three percent.
  • Have a survey conducted. Who knows who owns what without a survey? Veteran real estate agents and surveyors have more war stories in this regard than any. There have been entire houses built upon the wrong lots, and the same goes for driveways, swimming pools, fences, walls and bridges.
  • Have a radon test and have it mitigated if the reading is over four pica curies, as in Madame Curie, you know, the radiation person. Radon causes cancer. Period. The end. If you don’t want cancer, rid the space of the radon.
  • Treat the house for termites. A clear termite letter means the termites did not swarm at the exact moment of the inspection. The bugs are in the dirt and they will eat your house, at least the wooden part.
  • Have a licensed HVAC contractor inspect the HVAC. If they disassemble the unit during inspection and find it to be dangerous, they are forbidden to re-assemble it. The home owner is going to require heat or conditioned air, so it will be repaired.
  • Have your insurance agent run a CLUE report prior to the inspection to determine if claims have been filed against the house.
  • Check for outstanding building permits.
  • If the house is sheathed in synthetic stucco, have several feet of the sheathing removed all around the house.
  • If there is water beneath the house, get it out.
  • Don’t have the homeowner fix the problems. The jobs will go to the lowest bidder.
  • When the sellers give you money, use it to make the repairs. The Palm is tempting, but they don’t treat termites.

As the Facebook people say, “That is all.”

2. US stocks slip following drops overseas -

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are closing slightly lower after recovering most of an early slide.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 41 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 17,071 Monday. The Dow had been down as much as 178 points earlier.

3. China's Alibaba seeks blockbuster IPO in US -

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Alibaba Group, the king of e-commerce in China, is dangling a deal that could turn into one of the biggest IPOs in history.

In a long-awaited move Tuesday, Alibaba filed for an initial public offering of stock in the U.S. that could surpass the $16 billion that Facebook and its early investors raised in the social networking company's IPO two years ago.

4. Stocks edge higher in early trading; T-Mobile up -

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are opening higher on Wall Street as traders return from the Christmas holiday.

Good news about the U.S. job market encouraged investors to bid up stock prices.

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits dropped last week by the most in more than a year. That's a sign that layoffs are easing.

5. Verizon agrees to stake from Vodafone for $130B -

NEW YORK (AP) — Verizon will own its wireless business outright after agreeing to a $130 billion deal to buy the 45 percent stake of Verizon Wireless owned by British cellphone carrier Vodafone.

6. Sprint eliminating 800 customer-service jobs -

NEW YORK (AP) — Sprint says it's eliminating about 800 customer service jobs because fewer people are calling its centers. With growth in other parts of the business, Sprint says it expects the company's work force to remain at about 40,000.

7. Sprint completes acquisition of Clearwire -

NEW YORK (AP) — Majority owner Sprint has completed its acquisition of wireless network operator Clearwire Corp.

Sprint Nextel Corp. paid $5 per share for the 51 percent of Clearwire it didn't already own. Bellevue, Wash.-based Clearwire runs a mobile broadband network that Sprint uses to provide "4G" service on many of its phones.

8. Dish won't submit revised bid for Sprint -

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Satellite TV operator Dish Network Corp. said Tuesday it would not submit a revised bid for Sprint, leaving the path open for the wireless carrier to accept what it already considers a superior offer from Japan's Softbank.

9. Softbank sweetens offer for Sprint by $1.5B -

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — A month after being challenged by a rival to raise its bid for Sprint Nextel, Japan's Softbank did just that, by $1.5 billion.

That brings Softbank's total bid to $21.6 billion for the nation's third-largest carrier, which is still short of the $25.5 billion offered by the rival Dish Network in April.

10. Softbank says its bid for Sprint Nextel superior -

TOKYO (AP) — SoftBank Corp. says it believes its bid for U.S. wireless carrier Sprint Nextel is a better choice than the $25.5 billion counteroffer by Dish Network Corp.

11. Dish Network offering to buy Sprint in $25.5B deal -

NEW YORK (AP) — Dish Network Corp. is trying to snag U.S. wireless carrier Sprint Nextel Corp. away from its Japanese suitor in recognition of the way satellite dishes are losing their relevance in the age of cellphones that play YouTube videos.

12. Stock market takes biggest drop this year -

NEW YORK (AP) — A steep fall in commodity prices led the stock market to its worst day this year on Monday, as worries about the global economy resurfaced.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 265 points, its biggest loss in five months.

13. Sprint ups offer to $2.2B for rest of Clearwire -

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — Sprint Nextel will buy out minority shareholders of Clearwire for $2.2 billion, a higher price than it previously said it would pay.

Sprint said Monday it will pay $2.97 per share for the approximately 50 percent stake in Clearwire stock it doesn't already own. The company had said Thursday it would offer $2.90 per share, which totaled $2.1 billion.

14. Stocks head higher, despite Europe worries -

NEW YORK (AP) — One piece of good news on jobs was enough Thursday on Wall Street.

The stock market popped higher after the Labor Department reported an encouraging decline in weekly claims for unemployment insurance. That one piece of good news was enough to help traders forget about a drumbeat of worrisome developments, like a widening U.S. trade deficit, higher unemployment in Greece and a ratings cut for Spain.'

15. iPhone 5 launch draws Apple fans worldwide -

In a now familiar global ritual, Apple fans jammed shops across the globe to pick up the tech juggernaut's latest iPhone.

Eager buyers formed long lines Friday at Apple Inc. stores in Asia, Europe and North America to be the first to get their hands on the latest version of the smartphone.