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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Business Budget for Thursday, October 31, 2013

Updated at 8 a.m. EDT (1200 UTC)

This budget is now available on MCT Direct at http://www.mctdirect.com, with direct links to stories and art. See details at the end of the budget.

^TOP STORIES

^Ranchers dismayed at increasing cattle theft

FARM-CATTLETHEFT:SA _ The effects of cattle theft did not fully dawn on rancher Candace Owen until she got a call in 2010 from a fellow rancher. It was a heads-up alerting her that some of her cows were missing their calves.

The clue that something was amiss was each cow was "tight-bagged," the term ranchers use to describe cows with sagging udders that have not been milked.

Owen soon discovered that as many as 25 calves had been taken from her ranch in Red Bluff, Calif. She had been hit by cattle rustlers, characters that for most people exist only in history books and cowboy movies.

Cattle rustling, it turns out, has never gone away. And it's on the rise in California and nationwide.

1100 (with trims) by Edward Ortiz. MOVED

PHOTOS

^REAL ESTATE STORIES

^7 tips for trade-up homebuyers

REAL-TRADEUP:OC _ Move-up buyers are catching a break.

They're facing a less frantic housing market than earlier this year. Prices are cooling. More homes are up for sale, so competition is easing. Those shopping for their next property actually can get picky.

Economists say homes are expected to continue appreciating, though at a slower pace, and mortgage rates likely will tick up next year. But there's uncertainty on the horizon. New lending rules could make it tougher for some who have accrued significant debt to get a loan in 2014.

Many interested trade-up shoppers chose to watch the recent frenzied market from the sidelines. It may be time to update your house-hunting strategy.

The Orange County Register asked agents, mortgage brokers and home builders to offer advice to those looking to move up sooner than later.

Here's what they said.

1200 (with trims) by Marilyn Kalfus. MOVED

PHOTOS

^For some buyers, dream home is worth more than appraisal

REAL-APPRAISAL:FL _ Ryan Williams had been house hunting, off and on, for two years. He finally found the perfect place in Pompano Beach, Fla., a four-bedroom home with a pool and a two-car garage. He ended up paying $490,000 _ even though the appraisal came in at only $425,000.

Williams said he had no complaints bringing an extra $65,000 to the closing table on top of a $160,000 down payment.

"I still thought I got a good deal," the 40-year-old biologist said.

Historically, most homebuyers didn't dare pay above appraised value, but that mind-set is changing amid rising prices and increased competition for a scant supply of homes.

600 by Paul Owers. MOVED

PHOTO

^Virtual staging adds electronic curb appeal to home listings

REAL-CPT-VIRTUALSTAGING:PH _ As Lenore Spinelli explains it, it's just a piece of the business plan she's been working on for the past 18 months, in the aftermath of the real estate downturn.

"Everyone in the industry is trying to reinvent themselves to get people's attention," said Spinelli, an interior designer whose plan is called "smooth transition" _ a list of services to get people from one house to the next smoothly, whether they're corporate relocations or aging longtime homeowners trading down or out.

There are a lot of pieces to smooth transition _ and "I think that what I'm offering to real estate agents was perhaps a bit overwhelming," she said.

But one aspect has sort of caught on: Virtual staging.

500 by Alan J. Heavens. MOVED

^SMALL BUSINESS STORIES

^4 tips to sustain a small business in the long term

SMALLBIZ-SUSTAIN:CH _ Nancy Anderson knows this much: Running a farm in 2013 is nothing like running one in 1868.

So when she and her husband took over the family business, The Hunter Farm in Weddington, N.C., she knew they'd need to make some changes.

The Charlotte Observer spoke with Nancy Anderson, former mayor of Weddington, and her son, Eric _ one of four children, and the fifth generation of the family to work there _ to find out some of their secrets to sustained success that could apply to all small businesses.

1000 by Caroline McMillan Portillo. MOVED

PHOTOS

^Seeking help can save small businesses from piles of bills

SMALLBIZ-BILLS:RA _ Seek help immediately.

That's Lynne Hingtgen's advice for small-business owners who are struggling with money in the lean economy.

Hingtgen knows from experience as director of financial services for BuildPro Construction, a 10-year-old Raleigh, N.C., company that primarily provides drywall and paint services to four national and regional residential construction companies.

Hingtgen and owner David Leach started getting behind in payments to their suppliers, she said.

In response, BuildPro turned to the Raleigh chapter of SCORE, a small-business nonprofit.

When people turn to Raleigh SCORE for help, financial challenges are involved about 50 percent of the time, said David Grant, president of the Raleigh and Durham, N.C., arms of the nonprofit organization. Recent studies indicate that small-business lending has been decreasing over the years.

1000 (with trims) by Virginia Bridges. MOVED

PHOTOS

^Ask the experts: Small-business owners can stay focused, healthy by eating right

^SMALLBIZ-NUTRITION:RA_

So, "they really have to take care of themselves so they can take care of business," said Tracy Owens, who has 25 years of experience as a registered and licensed dietitian.

Here are Owens' tips on how owners can stay healthy and focused.

400 by Virginia Bridges. MOVED

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SMALLBIZ-MOMPRENEUR:CH _ Executive coach counsels small-business owners.

500 by Jennie Wong. (Not moving this week.)

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^HOME STORIES

The following stories appeared on today's MCT Lifestyle Budget:

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^Back from the '50s: Redoing a ranch home

HOME-RANCH-RENOVATION:MS _ When Ed Charbonneau and Erica Berven decided to buy their first home, they had a vision in mind: Atomic Ranch, as in the Space Age-era houses that have become the height of retro chic to a new generation of homeowners.

"I had a subscription to Atomic Ranch magazine," said Berven, who also remembers admiring the interiors on TV's "The Jetsons" and "The Brady Bunch" and thinking, "That's the coolest thing ever."

The couple found their own Atomic Ranch-style house in St. Louis Park, Minn. Built in 1954, it had some distinctive original features, including a butterfly roof with dramatic eaves and a tapering stone fireplace in the living room.

But the house also retained some not-so-desirable relics from the '50s, including a tiny kitchen _ "the size of a twin bed," Berven said.

800 by Kim Palmer in Minneapolis. (Moved as a lifestyle story.) MOVED

PHOTOS

^Actor's ship-shape home is the perfect staging vessel for his art collection

^HOME-ACTOR-ART:LA_

Although he is grateful for the work _ and for room service on the road _ Huguley confessed that he missed his Silver Lake, Los Angeles, home.

"Hotels are great," Huguley said, "but by Day 15, you're ready to come home."

Huguley's homesickness is understandable. The actor lives in a glamorous 1936 dwelling designed by William Kesling, whose open floor plan takes in views of the Silver Lake Reservoir.

400 by Lisa Boone in Los Angeles. (Moved as a lifestyle story.) MOVED

PHOTOS

^COLUMNS

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These features regularly move on Thursdays:

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BOOK-TOPBIZ:MCT _ A leading direct supplier of book-based resources lists the 25 most popular business books of the month, with short descriptions of the top 10.

1200 words. (Moves once a month.)

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REAL-REALESTATE-QA:FL _ A real estate lawyer answers readers' questions.

400 by Gary M. Singer. (Not moving this week.)

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REAL-REDDIN-COLUMN:CH _ Former president of LendingTree explains the murky world of mortgages.

700 by Tom Reddin. (Moves once a month.)

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REAL-MORTGAGEPROFESSOR:MCT _ Finance professor's advice for consumers seeking or managing a home loan.

By Jack Guttentag.

Moving later

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CNS-CONFIDENTIAL:LA _ Observations on consumer issues.

800 by David Lazarus.

Moving later

^PHOTO GALLERIES NOW OFFERED

MCT is now offering photo galleries for use on your websites and apps available at http://www.mctdirect.com/gallery/. In our stuffed photo gallery files you will find hand-picked groups of 10-20 hi-res jpgs, complete with slideshow-ready captions. For a limited time, these galleries are being offered as part of your MCT Photo subscription or are available for download a la carte. If you have content questions or suggestions, please contact the MCT Photo Desk at 202-383-6099 or mctphotohelp@mctinfoservices.com.

^NOW FROM MCT _ VIDEO

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