Winter Prep Saves Money

We have had an early taste of frigid wintry weather, including substantial snow in some areas. It’s a taste of the season to come when we spend more time indoors and a reminder that there are things we can do to winter-proof our homes.

thermostatAt writer Mikey Rox offers his tips to get through the winter happier and healthier. First on his list: Acclimate to the temperature by setting thermostats down, not up. Gradually lowering the thermostat, by a degree a week to a point where you still feel comfortable, can save bundles of money. Sealing or wrapping windows can add to the effect.

Uninvite the Pests

Pests hate winter, so seal areas of the home where pests can enter. Closing up cracks on the outside can prevent rodents from entering, and storing firewood at least 20 feet from the house will help keep mice and ants away.

Before snow sets in, clearing vents and chimneys can avoid carbon monoxide backups. Leaves, vines, shrubs, and plants can all create blockages that can cause carbon monoxide to enter the home.

Rox also suggests winterizing pipes to keep them from freezing and possibly bursting. This includes sprinkler systems, exterior pipes, and air conditioners.

Be Prepared for the Storm

snowshovelDon’t forget about the supplies needed to take care of the outside of your home either. Make sure you have rakes, shovels, snow blowers, sidewalk salt and other winter cleanup items that you’ll need to keep everybody safe who will step on to your property before, during and after a winter-weather event.

Check or install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Both fire and carbon monoxide can be deadly and silent. Manufacturers recommend replacing detectors every five years.

Act Now to Stay Well

flushotGive your body the best chance of avoiding, or at least fighting, the flu by getting a flu shot.

It also makes sense to keep a first-aid kit in your car at all times, and in winter add hand warmers, flares, heavy blankets, an emergency phone and a few days’ non-perishable food and water in the event that you’re ever stranded. These items literally could be the difference between life and death.

Credit Unions Step in to Fill Lending Void

If you’re considering a home mortgage, either to refinance your existing mortgage or to purchase a home, consider a credit union as your lender.

The number of mortgage originations issued from credit unions in the United States in first half of 2014 has climbed 10 percent year-over-year. This has elevated credit unions to having more than 8 percent share of the home loan market – about triple their share prior to the recession – making them a growing option for home buyers looking for financing, according to data from the Credit Union National Association.

CreditUnionCanadaCanadian credit unions also are experience growth in their home mortgage lending. Credit Union Central of Canada, the national trade association of the industry, notes credit unions have about 7% of the residential loan market.

CUNALogoIn June, the 6,557 credit unions in the United States surpassed 100 million members. You still have to be a member of one to get a loan, but many credit unions are tied to employment, trades, religious groups or more broadly to specific communities. Nearly two-thirds of U.S. credit unions offer mortgages.

“We’ve seen a very strong increase in originations over the course of the last several years,” Mike Schenk, vice president of economics and research at CUNA, said.

Mortgages comprise about 41 percent of all U.S. credit union loans compared to 25 percent in 2000. The average loan amount at a credit union is $130,000, and 70 percent of the loans offered are for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages. Many credit unions offer different financing options for members. For example, Pentagon Federal, with 1.3 million members nationwide, introduced a 15/15 adjustable mortgage, where rates reset only once at the midterm mark to reflect the current market rate. Also, the National Institutes of Health Federal CU offers the five-year fixed-rate mortgage, dubbed the “see ya” loan, which allows home owners to refinance and coordinate it to a time of a special event, such as retirement or when the children go to college, in order to end their mortgage payments by that time.

Credit unions don’t typically charge cheaper interest rates, but they “tend not to tack on a bunch of superfluous fees that other lenders seem to love,” the Los Angeles Times noted in a recent article. “And because they are local and member-controlled, they are more likely to consider applicants with a story to tell than some underwriter five states over who is forced to stick to standard guidelines.”

We Get Letters…

Nothing brightens our day quite so much as the great letters we get from your customers.

At Dino’s, service and customer satisfaction top our priorities and it’s great to get feedback showing that we are hitting our goals.

Here’s a letter we received just the other day:


DinosElkhornThis note is overdue but I felt it was necessary to share good news with the handling of my account at the Elkhorn Dino’s Storage. When there was some heavy rain this summer and some of my furniture got wet, Diane was quick to assist in moving my furniture to another bay which has adequately served my needs well. She is very timely in handling matters and my experience has been very good.

Once again, thanks for the great customer service provided by your company through Diane Clark at the Elkhorn location. I will be happy to refer business your way.


We Highly Recommend Some Great Movers!

As you might expect, a whole lot of moving goes on in our storage business – items coming in, items going out – on a continual basis. And sometimes the amount of goods our clients have is substantially more than the clients can handle on their own.

BlackBeltLogoWe make this recommendation to our clients – Call Black Belt Movers. They are a great bunch of hard-working folks who can handle anyone’s needs from packing to moving at competitive rates and with courteous, friendly and efficient service.

Black Belt is an all-around terrific outfit. A young entrepreneur, Luke Taylor, launched the company as FlatRate Movers from his Elkhorn home in 2007, operating with a small crew and a single 26-foot truck.

They recently changed their name to Black Belt Movers and today they have a fleet of more than two dozen trucks and operate in Omaha, Lincoln, Des Moines, Sioux City, Denver, San Diego, Phoenix and Kansas City with more than 60 crew members. The company still is run by Taylor, but now from a corporate office in Elkhorn.

In just the past two years, Black Belt has moved more than 10,000 families! Black Belt is licensed, insured and bonded. They are accredited by the Better Business Bureau and are preferred vendors on Angie’s List. They also have been rated Best of Omaha by Omaha Magazine.

They serve communities large and small in a radius of roughly 50 miles from each of the metro areas where they are now established. So if you have a move in your future, be smart and be happy, call them.

Black Belt Phone Numbers:
– Omaha 402-709-0970
– Des Moines 515-393-4253
– Sioux City 712-522-5344
– Denver 303-656-1888
– Kansas City 913-305-5430
– Phoenix 480-878-7457
– San Diego 619-567-5497

Customer Satisfaction, Community Service Are Dino’s Guides

At Dino’s, storage is our business. But customer satisfaction and community service are our guiding lights.
Treat our customers right and they will be customers for life. Be proactive and cooperative in our community and our name will be a point of pride.

Our Center Street facility recently received a note of thanks from one of our customers.

“You were so helpful and personable, and we appreciate your attention to detail and to providing great customer service,” our customer told us in a letter. The customer and her sisister came to the facility to arrange storage space for their parents’ belongings. That was accomplished.

heartlandfamilyserviceHeartland Family Services recently was the beneficiary of a gift of office furnishings from McGrath North law firm. But there was a hitch, the law firm had to vacate its old quarters before the space for Heartland Family Services’ new programs was ready. That created a pressing need for short-term storage for the incoming furnishings.

In a recent blog, Heartland Family Services said “another wonderful supporter of our agency, Dino’s Storage,” stepped up to the plate. “One call to owner, Dave Paladino, led to a quick conversation with Jena Erickson, Operations Manager for Dino’s Storage. Jena not only agreed to help us find short-term storage, but made it possible at a 50 percent discount! Her quick problem-solving helped us to create a cost-effective solution that will allow our agency to acquire much-needed, high quality furniture using almost none of our existing cash resources. As a result, we have more money to put into our programming and can serve more people.:

Letters and comments like these from customers and community organizations make us proud. Remember, we are here to serve you and our community.

No Need to Wait…We’ll Be Here Today and Tomorrow to Help

Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them. If you can help your neighbor now, don’t say, “Come back tomorrow, and then I’ll help you.  Proverbs 3:2

Dino’s Storage will NOT tell you to come back and we’ll help you tomorrow.  We are a here and now company, whether that is during business hours or not. At Dino’s Storage we pride our foundation on connecting the consumer with their needs to storage.

One of Dino’s Storage core values is: Having the burning desire to be the best version of ourselves possible.  My team and I have extremely talented property managers that will go above and beyond, being the best version of themselves for our current and future customers.  Sometimes I get stomach pains from the burning desire with creating new ways to better my life and Dino’s Storage.