Mark Ross's Blog Posts

Can You Buy A FSBO Home With A Real Estate Agent

When you’re shopping for a home, you might encounter certain homes listed as FSBO. Short for “for sale by owner,” these are properties that homeowners are selling on their own, typically to

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6 Summer Maintenance Tasks That Could Save You Cash

After what feels like the longest ever stretch of months stuck indoors, summer—glorious summer—is finally upon us. But before you get too comfy and curl up in a hammock with a delicious blended

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How To Get Your House Ready To Sell In Summer

Historically, the most active time for buying and selling real estate is when the weather gets warm, and it is expected to blossom this year as the housing market springs back to life nationwide.If

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How Much To Budget For Home Maintenance

Owning a home comes with certain responsibilities. There is no landlord to call when a sink stops draining or the lawn needs mowing. Regular home maintenance is essential to lengthening the lifespan

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Are You Truly Ready To Downsize

There’s a host of reasons for downsizing to a smaller home. You might want to pocket the savings and build upon your nest egg. Maybe you’re ready for a new adventure and eager to move to a high

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4 Things You Absolutely Must Do Before Painting Your House

Deciding to have our house painted was a big decision, but once we made it, we couldn’t wait to see the final results. But wait we did.What we hadn’t anticipated was all the prep work that went

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Selling To Buy A Bigger Home May Be Tough In This Market

Luis Gazitua put his Florida home up for sale in April when he saw the influx of clients coming from out of state to buy homes at prices he had never dreamed of.Within days of listing it, his three

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How To Pick A Paint Color You Wont Regret

Two years ago, we painted a major living area in our home—a large, open-concept space that contains our family room and kitchen, with high ceilings and lots of natural light. We took it from a

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6 Tips To Get Your Collection Of Cleaning Supplies Under Control

One thing we all have too much of (especially post-pandemic) are cleaning supplies. Whether you store yours under a kitchen sink, in the bathroom, in a closet—or all of the above—we’re here to

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VA Like Housing Bill Proposed For First Responders And Teachers

New legislation would extend a benefit similar to Veterans Affairs (VA) loans to first responders and teachers who buy homes.U.S. Representatives John Rutherford (R-Fla.), Al Lawson (D-Fla.), John

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How To Unpack After A Move And Leave Your Home Clutter Free For Good

Moving is the perfect opportunity to declutter, jettisoning the dead weight of your unneeded stuff before you haul it into your new home.Yet while the very best time to cut your losses is before you

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7 Smart Strategies For Kitchen Remodeling

Homeowners spend more money on kitchen remodeling than on any other home improvement project. And with good reason: Kitchens are the hub of home life and a source of pride.A significant portion of

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What Does Under Contract Mean In A Real Estate Listing

As you scroll through the real estate listings, you might spot a few that say the house is “under contract.” But what does “under contract” mean?In most cases, a property is listed as

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Everything You Need To Know About Buying A Fixer

The current state of the housing market may have you expanding your options to try to find a home that you can afford. A fixer-upper that needs some updating and a little love can feel like a

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4 Things Smart Homeowners Always Know To Do In May

The lazy days of summer officially kick off Memorial Day weekend.Giving your home a little extra love this month can save you time and money.#1 Chill With a New FridgeIs yours leaking water, cooling

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6 Projects To Banish Boredom From Your Yard

We're all about indulging in Starbucks' latest seasonal concoction or this season's "it" bag. (OK, maybe a knockoff version of this season's "it" bag.) Trends are just plain fun — and they keep

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How To Renovate Tight Living Quarters Without Cutting Corners

If you live in a small space, you’re used to having to come up with clever solutions to maximize your home’s potential. So whether you’re looking to renovate a studio apartment or small house,

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Are You Making One Of These 7 Landscaping Mistakes

You can just picture it: a pretty cottage garden overflowing your front yard, with tons of heavy, scented blooms.Well, at least you can picture it with your eyes closed. With your eyes open all you

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Fannie And Freddie Set Dates For Their New Refi Option

The Federal Housing Finance Agency didn’t have a set date for its new refi option targeted to low-income borrowers when it announced the program last week. But on Wednesday, both Fannie Mae and

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Mortgage Rates Remain Under 3 Percent For Third Week In A Row

For the third consecutive week, mortgage rates managed to remain under 3%, dropping three basis points last week to an average of 2.96%, according to Freddie Mac‘s PMMS.Despite consistent

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FHFA Finalizes Rule On Living Wills For Fannie And Freddie

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) finalized a rule on Monday that will require Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to develop plans that would ensure upon their eventual exit from conservatorship,

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The Guide To Earnest Money

In a fast-moving housing market where you compete with homebuyers who make an offer within hours of a house going on the market, you'll do anything you can to make your bid more competitive. You can

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7 Bathroom Improvements You Should Make Before Selling Your Home

It’s a seller’s market in many parts of the country right now. But if you’re serious about selling your house fast, you need to make sure your bathrooms are updated to impress.“Kitchens and

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ARM Vs Fixed Rate Mortgage And Which Home Loan Is Better For You

If you’re raring to buy a home, chances are you’ll need a mortgage. But which kind of mortgage should you get?Home loans aren’t one size fits all, but come in a variety of forms to suit home

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Does Your Home Have A Plumbing Problem

A clogged toilet can be embarrassing, and the thought of calling a plumber for such an issue can feel like an overreaction. But that clogged toilet, a backed-up sink or suddenly high water bill

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5 Reasons To Not Pay Off Your Mortgage Early

You’ve imagined it: that party you’ll throw (and the happy dance you’ll undoubtedly do) the day you pay off your mortgage. Ah, the joy of being debt-free and the full owner of your home!But

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The Guide To Escalation Clauses In Real Estate

Making an offer on a house is exciting, but when you know you're competing with other buyers, it's hard to know if your offer will appeal most to the home seller.Buyers can make a more enticing bid

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The Housing Market Frenzy Depends On Sellers

The coronavirus pandemic raised the temperature considerably on the nation’s housing market. The past year has been marked by soaring prices, logic-defying offers over asking price, and steep

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Avoid These 6 Mistakes When Upsizing To A New Home

Tired of having your already cramped bedroom do double duty as a home office and at-home gym? It might be time to upsize. But while getting more space may seem enticing, upsizing can hold pitfalls

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Heres How To Plan A Flooring Project Before You Move In To Your New Home

Imagine sitting down to dinner a few weeks after your move to a new house. Your new kitchen table has just arrived, you unpacked your last box earlier that day, and your favorite tunes are playing.

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7 Smart Tips For Organizing Gardening Gear And Supplies This Spring

When you think of home organization tasks, you probably picture that nightmare junk drawer in the kitchen or your closet stuffed with clothes you never wear. But now that the warm weather has you

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Heres How To Finally Finish Half Done Home Improvement Projects And Why You Should

With everyone spending more time at home, many people are embarking on home improvement projects that, alas, never seem to get finished. Like that half-painted laundry room or the closet

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Remodeling Expected To Remain Hot Even As The Pandemic Eases

The demand for home remodels is expected to remain strong—even as the COVID-19 pandemic begins to ease as vaccinations rise and people are no longer trapped inside their abodes obsessing over all

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List Midweek If Youre Selling Your Home

A new report from Redfin shows that homes listed midweek sell for an average of $1,700 more than homes listed on the weekend, based on homes sold above their list price from July 2020 through

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Millions Will Enter Housing Market In 2021

In what will be known to future generations as the Great Reshuffling, a recent Zillow survey showed that more than 1 in 10 Americans reported moving in the past 12 months, either by choice or by

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How Often Can You Refinance A Home Loan

Homeowners with a mortgage often hear about the benefits of refinancing—to snag a lower interest rate, reduce their monthly loan payments, and tap into their home equity. The list of advantages is

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Why Might A Listings Square Footage Differ From The Appraisal

If you're buying a home, the listing likely includes the square footage, a key selling point. But if you make an offer that's accepted and you've moved onto the home appraisal step in the process,

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Americans Think Its Better To Invest In Housing Than The Stock Market

Which is the better investment, owning a home or owning stocks? If you ask most Americans, chances are they prefer the former.A new study from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York examined consumer

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9 Spring Cleaning Tasks That Homeowners Tend To Overlook

No matter how hard you try, it's easy to overlook some spots when you spring clean — because you're blind to what you see and use every day in your own home.So before you say you're done with your

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How Long To Keep Tax Records And More A Checklist

Unless you live in a Hollywood Hills mansion, you probably don't have space to store years of tax and insurance paperwork, warranties, and repair receipts related to your home.But you need that

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Are Closing Costs Tax Deductible

Note: In light of COVID-19 crisis, the IRS has extended the income tax payment and filing deadline for individual and business returns from April 15, 2021, until May 17, 2021. This relief does not

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Can I Claim The Mortgage Interest Deduction

Note: In light of COVID-19 crisis, the IRS has extended the income tax payment and filing deadline for individual and business returns from April 15, 2021, until May 17, 2021. This relief does not

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What Is A Home Appraisal And Who Pays For It

For homebuyers financing their purchase with a mortgage, a home appraisal is often a required step of the process in order to get an approved loan and close on the deal.A home appraisal can be a

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Average Home Sale Price Hits All Time Record

The median home sale price increased 16% year-over-year to $331,590 – an all-time high, per a report this week from Redfin. But that’s not stopping buyers from snatching up homes days after

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COVID Completely Transformed The Way We Buy Homes But Will It Stick

Remember lazy Sunday afternoons when home buyers could leisurely hop from open house to open house, partaking of wine and cheese laid out to reel in more foot traffic—the more the merrier.Much can

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How To Design Your Dream Home

When you design your own home from the ground up, the sky’s the limit when it comes to design. You get to choose the architectural style, the floor plan, and all the flourishes that make this

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How Construction Loans Work

When you buy a home, you can usually rely on a standard mortgage to pay for it. But when you build your home from the ground up, a regular mortgage may not suffice. Instead, you might need a

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How To Know If Your Home Improvement Professional Is Worth The Price Tag

No one likes to overpay. But if you're looking to hire a home improvement professional to do some work, you might not know what’s a fair price. Services like installing a deck, repairing a roof,

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How To Hire A Home Builder

Building a home is a huge investment of time and money. The exciting part: You’ll get exactly what you want in your dream home. But building something from nothing can also become a terrifyingly

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How To Perfect Your Living Room Furniture Layout

Your living room isn't just a place to sit in your free time. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic called for work and school to take place at home, a living room has always been a family gathering

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FHFA Extends Forbearance Period To 18 Months

Borrowers with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may be eligible for an additional forbearance extension of up to six months, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Thursday.On.

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US LongTerm Mortgage Rates Rise

U.S. long-term mortgage rates rose this week but remain near historic lows as the pandemic-hobbled economy strains toward recovery with more Americans getting vaccinated against the coronavirus

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Forbearance Rate Falls For Third Week In A Row

The total number of mortgages in forbearance declined seven basis points to 5.22% in the week ending Feb. 14, according to the latest estimate from the Mortgage Bankers Association.The trade group

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Home Prices See Biggest Jump Since 2014

The numbers: Home prices rose at the fastest pace in seven years, according to the leading barometer released Tuesday.The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city price index posted a 10.1% year-over-year

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How Much Is Capital Gains Tax On Real Estate

Capital gains tax is the income tax you pay on gains from selling capital assets—including real estate. So if you have sold or are selling a house, what does this mean for you?If you sell your

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FHFA Releases 2021 Scorecard For Fannie And Freddie

The FHFA released its 2021 Scorecard for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Common Securitization Solutions on Tuesday, adding new resolution planning requirements for the GSEs.The resolution planning

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4 Things To Do In February To Avoid A Yucky Spring

That dark time when winter is like that friend who can't take a hint to leave.Give a push with these four easy tasks that'll help usher in spring.#1 Deep-Clean Your EntrywaySnow. Salt. Boots..

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Should You Buy A Home Or Keep Renting

It’s a big question with no easy answer: Should you keep renting, or is it time to think about buying a home?One of the major benefits of being a homeowner is building equity with each mortgage

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If You Skipped A Mortgage Payment Last Year Here Is What That Means For Your Taxes

Amid the economic turmoil caused by the coronavirus pandemic, millions of Americans opted to pause their monthly mortgage payments. That choice could have implications for their taxes this year —

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8 Outdoor DIY Projects That Will Add Serious Charm To Your Yard This Summer

With your backyard being the new summer hangout, it’s about time to spruce it up. But what if your budget is already stretched tight?Well, if you don't mind getting your hands a bit dirty, we've

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5 Tips For Buying A Home In A Sellers Housing Market

There’s no doubt we’re in a seller’s housing market. With inventory at record lows, demand surging and prices on the rise, buying — even just finding — a home in today’s market is quite

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First Time Home Buyers Find A Tough Market

Starry-eyed first-time home buyers are getting a rude awakening to the realities of today's high-stakes home-buying market.The coronavirus pandemic supercharged the housing market, as buyers

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What You Need To Know About Using Virtual House Tours To Sell Your Home

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then how many words can a video convey? Video has become the most widespread medium to digest information, so it makes sense that video found its way into

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Tax Benefits Of Owning A Home

What are the tax benefits of owning a home? Plenty of homeowners are asking themselves this right around now as they prepare to file their taxes.You may recall the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act—the most

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7 Insider Secrets About House Flipping To Put You On The Path To Profitability

Is 2021 the year you're going to buy a real estate investment property? If you have your sights set on flipping a house for a big profit, you likely know how much work is involved. Sure, popular

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6 Home Upgrades That Cost Less Than 10K And Will Bring In Offers

Getting a home improvement project to pay off is notoriously tricky. There's no guarantee you'll recoup the money you pour into a bathroom remodel or an outdoor kitchen. Plus, the COVID-19 pandemic

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Housing Starts Hit Highest Pace Since 2006

Single-family housing starts ended 2020 on a high note, rising 12% in December to a 1.338 million unit pace – the highest pace since 2006, according to the Census Bureau.That’s up 27.8% from one

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Fannie Mae Increases 2021 Economic Growth Forecast

Fannie Mae‘s latest forecast projects economic growth to hit 5.3% in 2021, an increase of 0.8 percentage points from what the government-sponsored enterprise projected last month.The forecasted

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Mortgage Underwriting Challenges In The Pandemic

In December, AmTrust Title Insurance Company announced the hiring of seasoned underwriter Mary Shelley as its midwest region agency underwriter. We took the opportunity to talk to Shelley, who has

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How Bidens Stimulus Plan Impacts Housing

President-elect Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus, unveiled Thursday as the American Rescue Plan, includes a call for extending the national moratorium on evictions and foreclosures until Sept.,

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Will We Have A Buyers Housing Market In 2021

If you’re looking to buy a home, you’ll stand the best chance in a buyer’s housing market, where listings are flush, demand is low and buyers have the upper hand — not to mention most of the

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What To Budget For Closing Costs When Buying A House

Are you considering purchasing a home for the first time? Then you’re probably already saving money for your down payment. But what about all the other costs needed to complete the transaction?

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Organize Your Home In A Month In Less Than An Hour A Day

A super-easy plan for getting organized without adding to your home-is-school, home-is-work, home-is-everything time burden.Did you ever notice that your self-improvement pacts with yourself are

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5 Tasks Every Homeowner Should Do In January

Start looking for that contractor NOW if you want your project done by summer’s end.Whew. The holidays are done. The new year has rung in.That's when smart homeowners know it's time to do these

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5 Tricks To Keep Your Pipes From Exploding This Winter

New homeowners may have heard that winterization is important, but in the hubbub of your first year living in a home you own (finally!), it can be easy to overlook the need to prepare for the cold

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8 Red Flags Home Buyers Will Undoubtedly Notice And How To Address Them Correctly

When my husband and I were house hunting, properties that had plastic taped over the windows or draft catchers below the exterior doors gave us pause: Did that mean the house wasn’t energy

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How The COVID19 Pandemic Has Forever Changed The Process Of Selling A House

In normal circumstances, selling a house involves interacting with a lot of people. In-person house tours, roundtable closings, and handshakes are all standard formalities.But in a world rocked by

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Singlefamily Housing Starts Reach Highest Level Since 2007

Single-family housing starts continued their seven-month climb in November, coming in to the highest level since 2007, according to the Census Bureau.Housing starts rose 1.2% in November compared to

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How To Buy A Home This Winter

Savvy home buyers know that winter is typically a good time to embark on a house hunt, since much of their competition stays holed up at home until spring. But this winter, buyers might notice that

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FHA Raises Loan Limit By Nearly 25000 For 2021

Given massive year-over-year gains in home prices, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is increasing its 2021 loan limit in most of the U.S. to $356,362, an increase of nearly $25,000 over

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The Housing Market Is Hot But Not In A Bubble

Existing home sales came in at a whopping 6,850,000, beating estimates with the highest print since 2006. Days on market fell from 36 days to 21 days on a year-over-year basis. Cash buyers remain at

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10 Ways To Enjoy Your Outdoor Living Space All Year

Some believe that the end of summer also marks the final days of enjoying outdoor barbecues, parties, and casual get-togethers. Yet, just by adding a few design elements to your outdoor space, you

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3 Ways To Tap Your Home Equity And Which One Is Right For You

You need to come up with some cash, fast. Maybe you have a leaky roof that desperately needs fixing or you need help paying for your kid's first semester of college. But where do you turn?If you're

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These Pandemic Related Housing And Design Trends Are Not Going Away

Home trends come and go, but social distancing and staying at home have ushered in a new way of life—and some of those changes have spurred home trends that are likely to stick around well past

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How Home Sellers Can Make A Bundle In The Best Winter Sales Season In Years

Selling a home in winter is often a slow process. Since many home buyers traditionally hunker down as the temperature drops, particularly during the holidays, home sellers with real estate on the

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Simple Tricks For Getting Your Garage Organized

If your house is bursting at the seams, or simply short on storage options, the solution may be as close as your garage. To make the best use of this space, however, you first need to corral its

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Halloween 2020 Will Feature Rare Blue Moon And Daylight Saving Time

In a series of bizarre things happening in 2020, add a rare blue hunter’s moon on Halloween to that list.If you’re outside on this spooky night, don’t expect to look up and see a blue tinted

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The Biggest Myths About Moving To The Suburbs

For generations, people have been drawn to big-city life by the irresistible lure of career opportunities, cultural riches, and the sheer excitement of rubbing shoulders with hundreds of thousands

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Home Price Index Sees Greatest Gain In Over 2 Years

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index of home prices in 19* U.S. cities rose 5.7% in August from a year ago, the greatest year-over-year gain since 2018, driven unsurprisingly by tightened supply

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6 Home Upgrades Buyers Want In The COVID19 Era

If you imagined 2020 was the year you would finally list your house for sale, you may have hit the brakes on those plans when the coronavirus pandemic arrived.But now, we’re more than six months

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Builder Confidence Breaks Previous 35 Year Record High

The National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo Housing Market Index rose two points to 85 in October – the highest score the series has ever recorded since its inception 35 years ago

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7 Simple Renovations To Coronavirus Proof Your Home

As much as we all wish we could go back to a time when social distancing was a foreign concept and masks were just something you wore with a Halloween costume, it’s clear by now that COVID-19’

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The Forbearance Crash Bros Spoke Too Soon

The health and economic crisis has made 2020 a horrific year for many Americans. Added to all that misery we had terrible fires in the West and hurricanes in the East.  From my perspective,

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Luxury Home Sales Rise Over 41 Percent Making Biggest Jump Since 2013

In the largest increase since 2013, luxury home sales rose 41.5% in the third quarter, according to a new report from Redfin.While sales in this segment of the housing market have skyrocketed, the

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As Home Prices Increase Sellers Have The Upper Hand

For the second consecutive month, Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index, a composite index designed to track consumers’ desire to sell or buy a home, gained 3.5 points in September to 81

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8 Kitchen Remodel Costs To Consider

You may be planning for a major kitchen renovation, including new appliances, plumbing, countertops or cabinets. Instead, you may be aiming to spruce up the space with a smaller budget. A kitchen

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How The Pandemic Is Helping Some Millennials Realize Their Home Buying Dreams

This year's coronavirus pandemic and the accompanying recession have turned a lot of people's financial plans upside down. But those millennials who've been lucky enough to hang onto their jobs are

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8 Outdoor Projects You Can And Should Do Over Fall And Winter

If you weren't one of the bajillion people jumping on the quarantine garden trend these past few months, you might think your chances of producing a plentiful bounty in your own backyard have

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8 Fall Maintenance Tasks You Really Should Do Before The First Frost

Ah, fall: The nip of the first chill in the air. The colorful foliage. The pumpkin spice lattes. The pumpkin spice everything.Oh yeah, and the long list of home maintenance tasks awaiting you at the

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Pending Home Sales At An All Time High

Riddle me this: How can home sales grow when we have no homes to buy?When a monthly home sales print fails to meet expectations the excuse often used is that inventory is too low to meet the demand.

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US Home Price Growth Picks Up Pace Amid Pandemic Buying Rush

Home-price growth began accelerating in July, a sign that the slowdown in home prices caused by the coronavirus pandemic may be reversing.The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index,

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Housing Market Stays Hot Into Fall With Mortgage Applications Up Nearly 7 Percent

Despite mortgage ratesrising slightly from a previous all-time low, mortgage applications gained 6.8% last week, according to a report from the Mortgage Bankers Association.The refinance index

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5 Rampant Mortgage Myths You Will Hear These Days

These days, things are changing so fast, it’s tough to keep up. That’s especially true in the mortgage industry, where interest rates and the overall home loan landscape are shifting with such

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Why Buyers Are Willing To Waive Their Home Inspections Right Now

By the time my husband and I put in an offer on a home (for the third time) in August, we were exhausted by the home-buying process—and we hadn't even bought a home yet.Even in the midsize town in

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Homeowners Gain Over 620 Billion In Equity In Second Quarter

U.S. homeowners with mortgages witnessed a 6.6% year-over-year increase in their equity in the second quarter of 2020 – representing a cumulative gain of $620 billion for the nation and an$

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More Young Adults Live At Home Now Than During The Great Depression

While at the beginning of the year it seemed like Millennials and Generation Z were going to take hold of the housing market in 2020, the pandemic drastically changed that prediction.For the first

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How To Make Your Home Office Space A Huge Selling Point

It's been six months since many of us were last in the office, tapping away on our ergonomic keyboards and drawing on whiteboards in conference rooms during (gasp!) in-person meetings.Since then, we

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The Refinancing Boom Is Just Getting Started

Even with refinancings driving a record $1.1 trillion in originations in the second quarter and testing the limits of lenders’ capacity, LOs, mortgage executives and economists say all the

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US Mortgage Rates Fall To All Time Lows This Week

Average mortgage rates for 30-year and 15-year mortgages fell to all-time lows this week, Freddie Mac said in a report on Thursday.The 30-year average is 2.86%, breaking the prior low of 2.88% set

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How To Set Up Your Utilities

Preparations for your move to a new home are underway and you’re starting to pack, get rid of items you don’t need and schedule movers. But you’re not ready to move until you’ve set up your

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Mortgage Lending Sets A 20 Year Record With Over 1 Trillion Dollars In Q2

U.S. lenders issued a staggering $1.1 trillion in home loans between April and June, marking the biggest quarter in at least two decades, according to mortgage data firm Black Knight. The record

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What Is Title Insurance

Buying a home often entails also buying various types of insurance to protect your property, and one type you might need to get is called title insurance.So what is title insurance? When you buy a

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Why Is The Housing Market Thriving In A Pandemic

The deadliest pandemic in more than a century has failed to derail the housing market because of the lowest mortgage rates ever recorded coupled with a shift in how people use their homes.“The

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Whats The Difference Between A Deed And Title

As you approach closing day for your home purchase, you’re going to hear a lot of discussion about the deed and title of your property. Both are an important part of owning real estate, but it can

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FHFA Extends Foreclosure And Eviction Moratorium For A Third Time To Dec 31

Four days ahead of its previous expiration date, the Federal Housing Finance Agency extended its moratorium on foreclosures and evictions for borrowers with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and

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Should You Add A Mother In Law Suite To Your Home

A mother-in-law suite is a private living space that is either attached or separated from a larger home but on the same property. As the name suggests, it can be used by the parents of the,

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5 Things To Ignore On A Home Tour

Whether you are house hunting in the suburbs or searching for an apartment in the city, there is an endless supply of information to take in and evaluate before you decide to submit an offer. This

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Existing Home Sales Soar At A Record Pace In July As Americans Make Up For Lost Time

The numbers: Sales of previously-owned homes in the U.S. rose 24.7% between June and July to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.86 million, the National Association of Realtors reported Friday

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Fannie Mae Freddie Mac Forbearance Rate Drops Below 5 Percent

The forbearance rate for mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac dropped to 4.94% in the first week of August, the first time it’s been below 5% since April, the Mortgage Bankers

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The Ultimate Guide To Equity

EQUITY IS A TERM USED in different contexts within business and investing, as well as in real estate and marketing.There are different types of equity that represent various classes of ownership or

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The Secrets To Furnishing A Smaller Home

For nearly 16 years, Beverly Willett lived with her husband and two daughters in what was her dream home: a four-story, 4,000-square-foot brownstone in Brooklyn, N.Y. But sometimes when life,

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Mortgage Applications Remain Steady Amid Continued Economic Stress

After three weeks of increases, mortgage applications fell 0.8% last week as mortgage rates continued to sit near record lows, according to a report by the Mortgage Bankers Association.The

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US Homeownership Rate Soars To An Almost 12 Year High

The U.S. homeownership rate soared to an almost 12-year high in the second quarter as low interest rates allowed more Americans to qualify for mortgages.The homeownership rate jumped to 67.9%, the

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How To Welcome Butterflies And Entice Them To Stay In Your Garden

A monarch butterfly at the butterfly house at the Elkton Community Education Center and along the Umpqua River.Terry Richard/StaffFragile, beautiful and fascinating, butterflies flutter their way

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HEROES Vs HEALS Act And What They Would Mean For Housing

The HEROES Act, a bill introduced and passed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in May, could be signed this week, offering homeowners and renters much-needed relief in light of the COVID-19

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5 Tricks To Rejuvenate A Run Down Patio On A Budget

Oh, your poor, sad patio. Not a comfy seat to be had, and that cracked concrete . . . well, it probably looked really great when disco was king. Whether you love to entertain friends or bask in

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How To DIY Your Own Outdoor Movie Theater

How to DIY Your Own Outdoor Movie TheaterThere’s nothing quite like watching a movie on a big screen, but many of us will be forgoing indoor movie theaters for the immediate future. And while-

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Loans In Forbearance Fall For The Sixth Straight Week

The total number of loans in forbearance fell for the sixth week in a row to 7.74% of servicers’ portfolio volume, according to a report by the Mortgage Bankers Association. As the country braces

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Pending Home Sales Continued To Rebound Across The Country In June

The numbers: The index of pending home sales rose 16.6% in June as compared with May, the National Association of Realtors reported Wednesday.The increase comes after pending home sales experienced

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If COVID19 Closed Your Pool Or Gym Can You Skip Paying HOA Fees

Buying a home in a community with a homeowners association comes with many perks—such as a maintenance crew to take care of the lawn, gym, swimming pool, or other shared areas enjoyed by HOA

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Buying A Fixer Upper Vs Buying New

You have a lot of decisions to make when choosing what home to buy: where you’re going to live, the size of the home and the amount of work you're willing to put into it.You may want to move in

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Why Aging In Place At Home Matters Now More Than Ever

Creating a safe, accessible, and comfortable living environment is something everyone can relate to these days, whether it's having a convenient work-from-home station or finding cost-efficient ways

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11 Exterior Things You Shouldnt Miss During A Home Video Tour

In the age of coronavirus, video tours are quickly becoming the go-to alternative to in-person tours. But for prospective buyers, there's more to the process than asking your smartphone-wielding

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Everything You Need To Know About Washing Your Face Mask

In an age of misinformation, something as simple as cleaning a cloth face mask can become incredibly confusing. What should you use to clean it? How should you clean it, and how often?We’ve likely

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7 Summer Maintenance Musts

Taking care of your home this season isn’t just about getting in on all those trending summer looks and beautifying the backyard. It’s also about getting all those dreaded seasonal maintenance

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What To Do If Your Mortgage Forbearance Is Ending Soon

Millions of Americans struggling to make their monthly mortgage payments because of COVID-19 have received relief through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.But mortgage

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How To Stave Off An Infestation

That lone ant roaming the kitchen counter may not seem like a big deal. Maybe it's even kind of cute. But think again.A few random ants can actually mean a major problem if not treated at the:

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How To Look Up The History Of Your Home

The anxiety of buying a new home can form in any number of ways, and you might find yourself questioning the property you’ve chosen: Is the backyard really that small? Is the soil contaminated

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3 Money Saving Last Minute Tax Tips For Homeowners

It's heeeere: tax time.Granted, this year, the coronavirus pandemic prompted the Internal Revenue Service to extend the usual April 15 deadline to July 15. That might have seemed like plenty of

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Use Succession Planting For A Thriving Garden

Want your new vegetable garden to survive—and even thrive? You might need to start thinking hard about succession. And no, we're not talking about corporate dynasties, or even the buzzy show on.

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Larger Homes In The US Are Making A Comeback

For the past several years, the trend among many luxury homebuyers in the U.S. has been clear: bigger isn’t necessarily better.Buyers who could easily have sprung for sprawling estates have

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The Guide To Buying A Home Sight Unseen

In April, after Virginia enacted a stay-at-home order due to the spread of the coronavirus, Ruth Boyer O'Dea found herself alone in a three-floor, five-bedroom residence in Arlington listed for a

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How To Renovate A House

There’s a good chance you have home improvement plans in the near future, whether you just closed on a fixer-upper or you’re looking to update the house you’ve lived in for 20 years.A well

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The Dos And Donts Of Buying Vacant Land

Finding your dream home isn’t easy. You'll spend a lot of time to scouring online listings, attending open houses and scoping out neighborhoods – and you may still come up empty-handed.Maybe

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6 Curb Appeal Tricks To Attract Buyers During Coronavirus

Curb appeal: It's the make-or-break first impression of your home. It either beckons a second look or turns buyers off entirely. And now, in the age of the coronavirus, curb appeal is more vital

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Celebrate Dad With These 7 Unique Fathers Day Activities You Can Do At Home

Graduations, birthdays, and holiday celebrations look a little different this year due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. OK, a lot different. Virtual events have filled the gaps, of course, but it

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8 Mistakes People Make Trying To Kill Weeds

Whether you've planted vegetables or flowers in your yard lately, you've likely noticed some dismaying intruders: weeds.Whether they're dandelions, bindweed, spurge, or some other growth, weeds rob

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6 Things Your Mortgage Lender Wants You To Know About Getting A Home Loan During COVID19

Getting a mortgage, paying your mortgage, refinancing your mortgage: These are all major undertakings, but during a pandemic, all of it becomes more complicated. Sometimes a lot more complicated.But

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The Summer Home Buying Season May Be Much Hotter Than Expected

Until recently, the prognosis for the housing market wasn't great. With the economy in a free fall, home sellers swiftly took down their "For Sale" signs and many buyers chose to wait out the

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Home Prices Are Still Rising

Those hoping the coronavirus-fueled recession will bring another round of bargain-basement real estate prices are likely out of luck.Even with the pandemic raging, a battered economy, and the

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Has The Mortgage Forbearance Curve Flattened

It’s been nearly two months since the number of borrowers who need forbearance on their mortgage began spiking due to coronavirus shutdowns, but it looks like the forbearance curve may be

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Home Office Setup Ideas

Working from home, or WFH, isn't just common in the workforce today – it's increasingly the norm. Companies and employees are realizing that a lot of work can be accomplished without actually

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Guide To Paint Finishes So You Wont Waste Your Money

There’s a basic rule of thumb to follow when choosing paint sheens: The higher the sheen, the higher the shine -- and the higher the shine, the more durable it will be.Flat paint has no shine;-

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Fannie Mae Freddie Mac Say Borrowers In Forbearance Can Defer All Missed Payments Until The End Of T

With nearly 4 million borrowers in forbearance on their mortgage, we still don’t have a complete picture of what happens when forbearance periods end. Borrowers got some clarity on the situation

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Homebuilders Are Now Offering Deals And Incentives On New Construction To Lure Buyers

Mike and Crystal Green couldn’t have picked a worse time to look for a new home. In mid-February, Mike was offered a promotion to be regional sales manager at Chatsworth Products, a computer

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What Happens If I Stop Paying My Mortgage

During the current financial crisis, you may ponder the idea of simply stopping payment on your mortgage. It is an option that some may want to consider in difficult times, but it is a bad decision

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10 Exterior House Painting Rules You Should Never Break

No home improvement project revives, beautifies and protects a house as quickly, effectively and affordably as exterior painting. A new coat of paint can completely transform the look of your home.

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How Did Past Health Scares Affect The Real Estate Market

A month and a half into a national emergency that has shuttered the economy as the U.S. battles with the coronavirus pandemic, the real estate market is already bearing the impacts of the health

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7 Hidden Costs Of Self Isolating At Home During Coronavirus

Those who are fortunate enough to still be collecting a paycheck while quarantined or sheltering in place might expect to build up some serious savings. While you work from home, you're avoiding

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Everything You Need To Know About A Pending Home Sale

Few moments are as exciting for home sellers and homebuyers as when a “sold” badge is added to the For Sale sign in front of your property. But when you drive through neighborhoods, especially

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Why Does My Mortgage Keep Getting Sold

A letter arrives in the mail and tells you your mortgage has been sold. It also informs you to send your monthly payments to a new address. Don’t panic! This happens all the time, and you shouldn

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Spring Cleaning 101

Spring is the perfect time to open up the windows in your house and clean every surface inch, but there’s no reason to spend more time on this task than necessary.Use these tips to quickly get

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Watch Out For These Red Flags If Youre A Homeowner Seeking Forbearance On Your Mortgage

Homeowners are asking for breaks on their mortgage payments in droves, as millions of Americans face the prospect of unemployment or reduced income because of the coronanvirus pandemic. But

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The Home Sellers Guide To Striking The Right Deal Today Despite The Pandemic

The coronavirus crisis has thrown a number of wrinkles into the home-selling process. Stock market fluctuations and job layoffs have some buyers rethinking whether to commit to a property purchase.

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Should You Delay Homebuying During The Coronavirus Pandemic

Is it a good idea, or even possible, to buy a new home, site unseen, during the COVID-19 shelter-in-place lockdown?The adage, “where there is a will, there is a way,” certainly holds true –

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What Is A Force Majeure Clause And What Does It Mean For Mortgages

In French, it means superior force. However, in legalese, the term force majeure refers to a clause that can allow a person or business to extricate themselves from a contract.“In general, it’s

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How Do You Sell A Home Safely During The COVID19 Crisis

Selling a home can be a headache. It often takes longer and costs more than you think, and it can be an emotional drain. That’s in normal times. Selling a home during a pandemic will add a slew of

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Everything You Need To Know About Moving Safely During The Coronavirus Pandemic

Packing up and moving has always been remarkably stressful in and of itself. Moving during the coronavirus pandemic, when everyone across the nation is supposed to be staying put to lower their risk

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How To Conduct A Virtual House Hunt Thats As Good As The Real Thing

If you've been thinking about buying a home for a while, you may have marked your calendar back in the winter to start your house hunt right about now. After all, spring typically kicks off the

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Coronavirus Forcing Home Buyers To Scramble To Close Deals

Real-estate agents are rushing to help home buyers and sellers close pending house sales, as the pandemic poses unprecedented obstacles to a high-touch process traditionally done in person.House

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Americans Are Still Moving

Next week, Daryl and Kathy Storment will be moving about 300 miles west from their home in Eastern Washington, a rural area known for rolling hills and big fields—toward the center of the country

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How Record Unemployment Claims Will Affect The Housing Market

As businesses across the United States have been mandated to close their doors in a desperate effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, people have been losing their jobs left and right. Now, we're

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The Coronavirus Could Hit Mom And Pop Landlords Hard As Tenants Miss Rent Payments

With April 1 right around the corner, residential landlords across the country are waiting to see how bad of a hit they’ll be taking from the coronavirus pandemic.Millions of Americans have lost

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Mortgage Industry Lays Out Its Case For Widespread Coronavirus Emergency Relief

The mortgage industry’s biggest trade and lobbying groups are banding together to push the federal government for widespread relief for all borrowers affected by the coronavirus outbreak in the U.

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How To Homeschool Your Kids And Work At Home Without Going Crazy

Households with two working parents, or a single working parent, have long struggled to balance careers and family time, but at least one thing hasn't been on those parents' plates: school.Now,

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Where Will Mortgage Rates Land

With the economy in near shambles, layoffs becoming widespread, and more of the country under orders to shelter in place to stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, historically low mortgage

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12 Places To Clean In Your Home To Prevent The Spread Of Illness

Pay attention to high-touch areas of your home – especially those you don't normally disinfect.The COVID-19 virus probably has you spending just about all of your time at home these days, so it

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How Do I Find My Property Lines

Determining property lines can provide you with information for needed legal changes to your home and backyard.You may feel confident that you know your property lines just by looking at your house

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US Suspends Most Foreclosures Amid Coronavirus Uncertainty

There is plenty to worry about as the number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. ratchets up, a prolonged recession becomes likelier, and more Americans' jobs are in jeopardy. But to ease some of the

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What You Need To Know If You Inherit Real Estate

If you inherit a house, or any other kind of property, you may feel as if you've been thrown into the deep end of real estate ownership. Not only must you deal with the loss of a loved one, but you

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Create An Estate Plan So Your Kids Dont Inherit A Headache

In his lifetime, Kerney Overman Jr. built a thriving construction company, a close-knit family and a charming beach cottage one block off the Atlantic Ocean in North Carolina. But at around age 70,

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Pros Cons And Costs Of A Home Warranty

What is a home warranty? In a nutshell, it's a policy a homeowner pays for that covers the cost of repairing many home appliances if they break down.After all, lots of things you buy come with a

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Mortgage Applications Skyrocket To Highest Level Since 2009 As Rates Tumble

Mortgage applications soared 55% this week from one week prior, and demand for refinances rose to an almost 11-year high, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.The deluge came after rates

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5 Doable DIY Projects To Send Your Home Equity Soaring

You're going to save money with DIY home improvement projects. Sure, everybody knows that.But did you know how much? Cut professionals out of the equation and you can save half the cost of a-

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Mortgage Rates Reach Lowest Level In Almost 50 Years

Mortgage rates have just dropped to the lowest level in almost 50 years, compelling both homeowners and home buyers to get off the couch to take advantage of record-level savings on their.“

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Here Is What The Feds Surprise Interest Rate Cut Means For Mortgage Rates

The Federal Reserve just cut its benchmark interest rate — but don’t expect lower mortgage rates as a result.The Fed made the rare move to lower the federal funds rate by a half-point to a range

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New Home Sales Soar To Highest Level Since 2007

The numbers: Sales of newly-constructed homes in the U.S. soared 7.9% on a monthly basis in January to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 764,000, the government reported Wednesday.That figure

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Become A Superhost By Avoiding These 7 Guest Room Mistakes

If you're lucky enough to have a spare room, in-law suite, or second home, there's a good chance you've considered renting it out. Put a bed in there, post it on Airbnb, and count the cash rolling,

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5 Sweet Tax Deductions When Selling A Home

You may be wondering if there are tax deductions when selling a home. And the answer is: You bet!Sure, you may remember 2018's new tax code—aka the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act—changed some rules for

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6 Reasons Why You Should Look At Homes Outside Your Price Range

When you’re house hunting, budget is everything. It dictates how much home you can reasonably afford, and therefore which homes you look at. After all, you don’t want to end up house poor or

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4 Reasons Why You Probably Still Need A Buyers Agent When Youre Buying A Foreclosure

In a home foreclosure sale, the seller is actually a bank or mortgage lender. In this scenario, the lender has seized a property from the previous owners who were unable to pay their mortgage. Now,

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5 Easy Living Room Projects You Can Master Like A Pro

Maybe it’s been a while since your living room got any love. We get it—it’s easy to get sidetracked by all the different ways you can upgrade your kitchen or bathroom.But the living room has

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Is The Best Time To Sell A House Changing

In mid-January, Kim Colaprete held an open house for a property that had just hit the market in Seattle. With nearly 100 people attending over two days, it was a busy event, says the broker of Team

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How To Find A Reliable Home Contractor

For most homeowners, the hardest part of any home renovation project isn't the work itself – it's finding a competent and reliable contractor to do the job. Installing kitchen cabinets, knocking

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Heres Why Low Rates May Not Help Home Buyers Very Much

Even as mortgage rates hover around five-decade lows, home buyers may still feel the affordability squeeze thanks to rising property values.The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.47% during the

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US Inventory Of Homes For Sale Reaches Record Low

It probably won’t come as a surprise to those in the mortgage business that the fourth quarter of 2019 was a big one, considering that originations continued to rise throughout the year thanks to

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Mortgage Lending Just Had Its Biggest Quarter In 14 Years

It probably won’t come as a surprise to those in the mortgage business that the fourth quarter of 2019 was a big one, considering that originations continued to rise throughout the year thanks to

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Here Are 5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Refinance

Mortgage rates are resting near record lows — and that’s spurring a wave of refinancing activity as Americans look to take advantage of the savings a cheaper interest rate could bring.Refinance

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Are You Waiting For House Prices To Drop During The Next Recession To Buy A Home

It’s unclear when the next recession will come. But a recent report argues that when it does the U.S. housing market is unlikely to adversely affected in any major way.Researchers at First

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Three Year Low In Rates Makes 11 MiIllion Mortgages Refi Eligible

A three-year low in the average U.S. rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage pushed the number of “refi eligible” borrowers to 11.3 million, the second-highest on record, according to Black Knight

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How To Really View Your Home As An Investment

HOMEBUYERS ARE typically told that they're making a great investment by purchasing their primary residence.Houses are sold as wealth-building tools – a way to escape "throwing money away" on rent.

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7 Tax Benefits Of Owning A Home With A Complete Guide To Filing In 2020

What are the tax benefits of owning a home? Plenty of homeowners are asking themselves this right around now as they prepare to file their taxes. You may recall the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act—the

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4 Fast Ways To Declutter Your Home Office To Make 2020 Your Most Productive Year Yet

If you’ve been following our "New Year, Clean House" series, then you know that you're almost done giving your home a refresh. By now, hopefully, you've reclaimed your bed, turned your bathroom

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6 Home Gym Design Mistakes That Can Sabotage Your Workout And Waste Money

Every year, top resolutions for the New Year include working out more and losing weight. Going to the gym is one way to meet these goals. However, a monthly membership can really inflate your.

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The Most Popular Features In Real Estate Listings

Point2 Homes, a real estate listing website, analyzed the language in 1.2 million home listings across the U.S. and came up with the most common phrases.The three most frequently-used feature

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FICO Changes Could Affect Your Credit Score

Changes in how the most widely used credit score in the U.S. is calculated will likely make it harder for many Americans to get loans.Fair Isaac Corp., creator of FICO scores, will soon start

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8 Homeowner Vows For 2020 That Will Help You Be A Good Neighbor

You do your best to be a good neighbor, but there’s always room for improvement. Here's an idea: This year, take some extra steps and make a bit more effort to be an even better neighbor. It'll

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Declutter These 5 Kids Rooms Items In 2020

Whether you have one kid or eight, the odds are good their tiny rooms are filled to the brim with stuff, especially after the holiday season. And it's easy to let that slide, as long as the kids are

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Is A Basement Included In The Square Footage Of A Home

This is the tale of two basements in otherwise comparable houses. One is a finished basement with a den, bedroom, and full bathroom. The other basement has some Sheetrock, an exposed toilet, and a

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8 Essential Winter Home Maintenance Tips That Will Save You Big Time

Home maintenance in the winter? You heard us right, snow dogs. Just because the flurries may be drifting all over the yard and temps are dipping perilously close to the freezing mark, it doesn't

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How To Handle Inherited Investments

Investors need a plan to properly manage an inheritance.(GETTY IMAGES)RECEIVING AN inheritance can be a double-edged sword.On the one hand, it's overwhelming, thanks to the intense emotions

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Here Are Your Options If You Cant Make Your Mortgage Payment

When you find you can't make your mortgage payments, contact your lender to discuss options that may help you get back on your feet without losing your house.Even the most careful planners and

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Mortgage Rates Remain Stable To Start 2020 And That Could Mean An Early Start To The Spring Home Buy

The new decade has kicked off with a fairly stable interest-rate environment for home loans.The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.72% during the week ending Jan. 2, down two basis points from

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January Is The Month To Start Looking If Youre Hoping To Buy A Home In 2020

The home-buying season used to kick off sometime in spring, as the snow began to melt and people tried to plan for a summer move-in. But in recent years, the limited supply of homes for sale has

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How To Calculate Your Mortgage Payment

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Fannie Mae Freddie Mac Will Soon Let Borrowers Take Out Mortgages Over 500K

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will let mortgage borrowers nationwide take out home loans over $500,000 in 2020.The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Tuesday that it will increase the limit on

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How Investors Benefit From The Basics

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What To Know About Buying A House In 2020

If you're hoping to secure a new address in 2020, you've picked an excellent time to enter, or re-enter, the real estate market. Interest rates are still near record lows, and in many areas across

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How To Invest In Real Estate Bonds

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Dont Make These 6 Mistakes When Remodeling Or Designing A Laundry Room

The laundry room is perhaps the least visible room in your home, but it serves a vital purpose—and we spend a lot of time there. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ American Time

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Outdated Mortgage Advice You Should Ignore Right Now

Buying a house is one of the most exciting things you'll ever do in your life — and signing the mortgage for that house will probably be one of the most terrifying.Since navigating the home loan

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How To Learn About The School Districts In Your New Area

Your search for the perfect house involves more than just the home itself. Beyond seeking out the perfect number of bedrooms and an entertainment-ready backyard, you also need to find the right

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Tips For Maintaining Your Privacy While Selling Your Home

Letting strangers in your house while you're not there can be a difficult part of the home selling process. Protect your belongings and identity by removing valuables and any paperwork that has your

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How Soon Can I Refinance My Mortgage

Drastic changes, such as a sudden drop in interest rates, may make it expedient to refinance a mortgage early.(GETTY IMAGES)IF YOU'VE HAD YOUR mortgage for a while or have built equity in your home,

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Should You Buy A House With Cash

While the idea of avoiding mortgage payments may be tempting, you'll miss out on some tax breaks and reduce your ability to invest elsewhere. (Piotr Powietrzynski/Getty Images)In today’s low

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10 Mistakes To Avoid When Selling Your Home

Clean up the clutter in your home and be willing to negotiate with buyers.Selling your home may seem like a mystifying process, but it doesn't require any hidden knowledge that the real estate

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Should Retirees Rent Or Own 3 Questions To Help You Decide

For many of us, the decision to rent or buy is dictated by our income. If the monthly costs of homeownership take up no more than 30% of your income and you can afford a down payment, then buying a

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Does Homeowner Insurance Cover Renovation Damage

Part of the thrill of a renovation is dreaming up a brand-new look for your home. The best part of the process is, of course, walking through the finished rooms and settling into your new space.But

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Recycle These 5 Things During Your Decluttering

We’ve all heard about spring-cleaning, but what about pre-holiday cleaning? That should be a thing, too! After all, with the holiday season right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to

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Mortgage Rates Are Increasing Again So Why Did More People Apply For Home Loans

Although mortgage rates now stand higher than they did just a couple months ago, more people are applying for loans to buy homes.The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.75% during the week ending

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Dont Believe These Myths About Painting

If you own a home, there's a pretty good chance you've wielded a paintbrush a time or two. And even if you haven't, chances are that you will eventually.It might seem like picking up a paintbrush

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6 Crucial Questions To Ask A Title Insurance Provider

Shopping for title insurance may not be the most thrilling step in buying a house, but it is one of the most important.Before you can own a home, or "take title" to a property, most lenders will

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What First Time Home Buyers Should Know About Closing Costs

CLOSING COSTS ARE EASY to overlook when you're buying your first home, as you're probably most concerned about the house purchase price, your down payment and the mortgage interest rate. But it's a

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Buying A Home With Friends Can Be A Legally Complicated Transaction

What you should know about working with clients who choose this unusual avenue to homeownership.A small but growing share of home buyers is forging an alternative path to homeownership that is ripe

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7 Tips And Tricks To Keep Your Home Cleaner Longer

Use humidity, a car product, and more wow ideas to save cleaning time.When cleaning your home, why not do it in such a way that'll keep your home cleaner with less effort?Here are 7 ways to keep

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The 16 Incredibly Useful Rules Every Organized House Follows

Homes don’t clean themselves. But these easy-peasy rules (wake and make!) will make you feel like they do.Here's the thing you may have noticed about houses: They don't clean themselves.Which is

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6 Tips For Maintaining A Wood Burning Fireplace

Brrr! With temperatures tumbling, there’s nothing better than nestling in some cozy blankets in front of a wood-burning fireplace. The sound of crackling wood and the heat radiating on your

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How To Winterize A House

Extreme winter weather can leave neighborhoods and communities without power or other public services for long periods of time, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security warns.It's a smart idea to

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Do You Get Your Earnest Money Back If You Cant Get A Mortgage

After you make an offer on a house and it's accepted by the seller, you'll be asked to put down an earnest money deposit to show your commitment to this purchase. But while you might be gung-ho to

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How To Control Moisture And Humidity In The Home

Moisture keeps your skin fresh and plump, but, sadly, it’s not doing your home any favors. In fact, according to Steve Worsley, owner of CNC Contractor Services, a mold consultation and mitigation

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Is A 15 Or 30 Year Mortgage Right For You

A bank will likely deem a 15-Year mortgage plan less risky than a 30-year plan, but that plan gives you less flexibility. (GETTY IMAGES)MORTGAGES COME WITH many options, and one of them is your loan

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Youd Better Ask These 5 Crucial Questions Before You Buy A House

No matter how many episodes of “House Hunters” or “Love It or List It” you've watched, buying a home inevitably comes with surprises. Though a sharp real estate agent will help you navigate

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Why You Might Not Want To Rake Your Lawn This Fall

winyuu/iStockThe cooling temperatures of autumn offer a long-awaited break from summer's scorching heat, but you won't relax for long—the beautiful colors of the leaves also signal that yardwork

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12 Tasks To Tackle This Fall

Cooler weather is coming — prep your home for its arrival while it's still nice outside.The days are getting shorter, and the nights are getting cooler. The kids are trudging off to school again

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4 Things To Consider Before Painting A Room Yourself

Tempura/iStockTo the inexperienced, painting a wall may seem like a larger-scale version of coloring inside the lines. But painting should never be considered an elementary task. Painting

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3 Fast Fixes For The Home Features Millennial Buyers Hate

BanksPhotos/iStockWhen it comes to selling a house, you want to appeal to as many potential buyers as possible. For years, that meant targeting baby boomers and Gen Xers; but today, millennials are

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4 Ways To Finance A Home Improvement Project Without Draining Your Bank Account

Taking on a home improvement project can increase your property’s value, address small issues before they become large problems, and make your house more livable. But while small projects may

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Does My Roof Need To Be Repaired Or Replaced

If it’s been a while since you gave much thought to the literal roof over your head, now’s the time to make sure all is well. Determining whether your roof needs to be repaired or replaced is a

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How To Save Enough For A Down Payment

Hopeful buyers are willing to go to great lengths to save enough for a down payment. (Getty Images)There comes a point for many prospective first-time homebuyers when nearly everything you do is

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What Is LTV And Why Does It Matter

LTV measures for lenders the risk of a loan defaulting. (GETTY IMAGES)WHETHER YOU'RE borrowing to buy a home, car, recreational vehicle or a similar asset, you can expect to use the asset you're

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5 Home Security Tips For Protecting Your Family And Valuables

Lighting, inside and outside your home, is key to deterring would-be burglars. Lights inside indicate someone is home, and timed lighting when you're not there helps give the illusion you are.-

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What Is A Sheriffs Sale

Home buyers are always looking for a bargain. But if you're really looking to save some dough, consider a sheriff's sale. As the name suggests, it's a real estate sale that involves your local

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Here Is How To Pay For That Expensive Home Renovation With A HELOC

Oh, the things you could do with your home if only you had the money. Remodel the kitchen, overhaul that ugly bathroom, or just fix the roof. But who has thousands of dollars just lying around to be

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4 Explanations Why Your Heater Smells Like Its Burning

Spring just on the horizon means your heater is about to go dormant for a while. Hooray! But be forewarned: You're likely to notice a burning smell once you turn it back on at the start of the next

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5 Tips For Making Your Home Holiday Ready

Prepping your home for the holidays isn't just about putting up decorations. Prepare your house so visitors who either stay for the evening or for a few nights feel welcome and safe. Maybe it's

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Freddie Mac September Forecast Hints At A Strong Housing Market This Fall

Although the nation’s trade war is projected to weaken future economic growth, Freddie Mac’s September Forecast indicates the housing market is likely to maintain its strength well into the.

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7 Home Upgrades That Will Attract First Time Home Buyers

Young first-time homebuyers are often attracted to spaces with plenty of room for entertaining friends and family. Stage your home so it showcases those spots and help potential buyers envision

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How To Get A Mortgage With Bad Credit

It's one of those home-buying riddles that many think is all but unsolvable: How can a home buyer get a mortgage with bad credit? After all, if your credit score is abysmal, you may as well kiss

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6 Ways To Make Your Home Environmentally Friendly

Part of making your home healthier is keeping unwelcome bacteria, dirt and toxins from getting inside. Have your family and friends take shoes off at the door to avoid tracking in dirt and keep your

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5 Questions To Ask Your Mortgage Lender Before Refinancing Your Home

Many homeowners with mortgages have considered refinancing at some point or another. Refinancing a mortgage essentially replaces your current mortgage with a new loan. It's an especially enticing

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7 Common HOA Rule Violations And How To Avoid Getting Fined

Living in a community managed by a homeowners association (HOA) means that you're obligated to follow certain rules and regulations. Depending upon your HOA, these rules can be very particular—so

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5 Crucial Questions To Ask Before You Buy A Fixer Upper

Thinking about buying a fixer-upper? Join the club. Blame it on the popularity of renovation reality TV or just the fact that people are searching for deals, but many home buyers are willing to

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Millennials Are Resorting To This Questionable Tactic To Buy Their First Homes

Millennial home buyers are going to some troubling lengths to foot the bill for their first homes, according to a new survey.Millennials are more likely than their older counterparts to fund their

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A Homeowners Guide To HOAs

Many homes across the United States are part of an HOA, or homeowners association. So what does that mean?In a nutshell, an HOA helps ensure that your community looks its best and functions.

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11 Surprisingly Tiny Home Quirks That Can Stop A Sale In Its Tracks

Ever spend the night at a friend’s or relative’s house where they reveal some quirky shortcoming in their home? Say, the light switch in the guest room works the opposite way you'd expect (down

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7 Fall Decor Tips For When Your Home Is On The Market

To embrace the fall season at home while your property is on the market, consider subtle details that keep your decor from going overboard.As you consider the best way to sell a house, one thing to

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Decorating And Design Ideas For Small Patios And Terraces

Decorating any part of a home, especially outdoor space, lets you tap into the creative side of your brain.But when the space is a small terrace or patio, too much creativity can be a bad thing.

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Busting The Most Common Reasons For Not Buying A Home

Owning a home means you can build equity, take advantage of tax deductions, and partake in a little something called the American dream. For the past couple of years, the U.S. homeownership rate has

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Unconventional Mortgages Attract Warning From Regulator

WASHINGTON—A type of unconventional mortgage that focuses on a borrower’s assets to vet repayment ability has drawn a warning from regulators for banks to maintain tight underwriting standards

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What Is A Homestead Exemption

Owning a home is likely your biggest asset, but also your biggest expense. Between the mortgage, insurance, unexpected repairs like roof damage, property taxes, and possibly homeowners association

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5 Kitchen Mistakes That Could Sink A Sale

Buyers put a lot of their focus on the kitchen. After all, it can be one of the most expensive rooms to remodel and its features and conditions can make or break a sale.Designers recently shared a

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7 Important Home Repairs To Do Right After Moving Out

Congratulations: You're moving out, and on to your next home! Now all you have to do is pack up your things and skedaddle, right?Not so fast. If you're still trying to sell your current home, you'll

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US Existing Home Sales Picked Up In July

WASHINGTON—Sales of previously owned U.S. homes picked up in July, suggesting that lower mortgage rates are beginning to drive sales after a weak spring selling season.Existing-home sales rose 2%

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How Soon Can You Sell A House After Buying

They don't call it a forever home for nothing. Most of us buy with the intent of staying a long time—sometimes indefinitely. But here's the rub: Things change. Life takes us in a different

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How To Buy Land And Tips To Pick The Perfect Plot

Wondering how to buy land? There's something thrilling about the idea of buying your own piece of vacant land—raw, untouched real estate on which you can build your dream home from the ground up.

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12 Home Features That Can Make It Easier To Sell A House

What makes a home really special? Whether it is a grand mansion or a two-bedroom apartment, what are the attributes that the trained eye of a real estate expert are zeroing in on when she views a

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What Is Fair Market Value

Whether you're buying or selling a home, one question that's always front and center is the price: How much is a home worth? That's a tricky question to answer, but probably the best starting point

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Getting An Appraisal Before You Sell Could Cost You

Even if you’re new to this whole selling-a-house thing, chances are good you’ve heard of a home appraisal. And if you know just a little about the process, you know that the appraisal—a value

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Pending Home Sales Rise In June Helped By Western Gains

Pending home sales rose in June, with activity particularly brisk in the western part of the U.S., a trade group said Tuesday.The National Association of Realtors® said pending home sales climbed 2

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HomeBuying Lingo You Should Know

Need a crash course on real estate terms? This glossary will get you started.DTI, PMI, LTV … TBH, it can be hard to keep all this stuff straight. This lexicon of real estate terms and acronyms

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Why It Could Get More Difficult For Americans To Get Approved For A Mortgage

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is set to eliminate a regulatory loophole that made getting a mortgage more feasible for thousands of Americans.The consumer watchdog agency announced this

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What Is Real Estate Due Diligence

Once you make an offer on a home and it's accepted, there's a process lasting a few weeks before you close the transaction. During this window of time, buyers are often told to "do their due

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How To Get Over Losing Out On A Home

Bumble's relationship pros explain how to get over the house that stole your heart.You had such big dreams for the two of you. You were ready to make the big commitment. You thought you’d grow old

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Moving Is The Worst But These Tips Will Make It Way Less Stressful

The idea of moving can sound like a great adventure, but for most people, the actual process of moving is a giant headache, or much worse. In fact, a lot of people equate it to some of life's

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Surprising Things That Can Drive Up The Cost Of Buying A Foreclosure Home

Buying a foreclosure home, also known as a distressed property, might seem like a less expensive way to get into your next place. These homes usually sell for about 15% below the home's actual.

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Why Does My Laundry Still Smell Bad After I Wash It

Some would argue that there are few household chores worse than laundry—the tedious rinse-and-repeat cycle that sprawls over our domestic calendars. After all, there's a reason it's called

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Should You Use The Same Real Estate Agent To Buy And Sell A Home

When you’re in the middle of selling a home and buying a new one, the question inevitably comes up: Can’t I just use the same agent for both transactions—wouldn’t that make things easier?

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Dont Make These 6 Mistakes When Installing Smoke Alarms

Installing smoke alarms is a task that most homeowners can tackle on their own. But proper installation and maintenance are vital to ensuring that your alarm actually works in an emergency. However,

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Doing This One Thing Before Putting Your Home On The Market Can Help Sell It Faster

You’ve lived in your home for years and haven't exactly been on top of regular maintenance tasks. Now, your windows are covered in plastic wrap to cut down on the cold drafts, your ceiling seems

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Home Prices Have Shot Up Way More Than You Thought Since The Recession

Quite a bit has changed since the housing bubble burst and the world plunged into a bleak recession. Rampant layoffs have been replaced by a booming economy and hiring sprees. A housing market

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Stress Free Homes Are A Trending Niche

Whether it’s a luxurious $45 million estate in California or a modest $250,000 two-bedroom house in Ohio, marketing a home’s stress-relieving qualities is a growing trend. Today, developers,

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5 Mistakes That Could Cause A Collapse When Building A Retaining Wall In Your Yard

A retaining wall is a practical outdoor feature that can help keep your yard in top form, but it's often overlooked—or misunderstood. In its most basic form, it's a structure that holds soil in

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4 Hardscaping Projects You Can Do Yourself And Those Better Left For The Pros

The right level of curb appeal can make neighbors do a double take—for the right reasons. Plus, it can up your property's resale value. Improving your curb appeal often includes manicured

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The Secret To Keeping Gardens Beautiful In Sweltering August

On a recent Sunday night my husband came out to the garden, where I had been working since dawn. He looked concerned.“What are you doing?” he asked in the sort of gentle tone a staff

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Why Its Taking First Time Buyers Longer To Find The Right Home

With soaring prices, hordes of competition, and a dearth of properties for sale, snagging the right home for the right price is no easy task. And it's even worse for first-time buyers.Of the buyers

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Most Home Sellers Will Wait This Long Before Dropping Their Listing Price

Other survey insights underscore frustration with the home buying processYou’ve listed your home for sale, and no one is taking the bait. One month passes, then two. How long do you wait before

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What Is A Water Hammer And How You Can Fix It

What is a water hammer? When something goes bump in the night, it could be water moving through your valves and pipes. But when you hear loud banging coming from your plumbing or valves, it's a

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5 Questions To Ask Before Selling Your Home

Selling your house is not as simple as just putting it on the market and waiting for offers from eager buyers to roll in. (Ah, if only...) If you have any hope that your sale will go smoothly, you

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The Housing Slowdown May Be Ending So Here Is What Buyers Sellers Need To Know

The much discussed—and, in some quarters, much feared—housing slowdown may be coming to an end.The real estate softening that began last summer, marked by a surge in homes hitting the market and

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What Is A Tankless Water Heater

What is a tankless water heater? Also called “demand-type” or “instantaneous water heaters,” these devices deliver warm water only when you want it. Conventional water heaters, on the other

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Dont Make These 6 Mistakes When Using Mulch In Your Yard

Mulch, a layer of organic material laid over your soil, is a gardener's secret weapon. When done correctly, mulching can conserve the soil’s moisture, slow the erosion process, and help to

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10 Projects That Blow Fixer Uppers Budgets

Many homeowners who purchase a fixer-upper say it was because they believed they’d save money. But they actually end up spending about the same or more than if they had opted for a move-in-ready

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How To Keep Dogs Safe And Calm During Fourth Of July Celebrations

Dogs have such a negative reaction to some of the activities associated with the Fourth of July – fireworks, parades, parties, alcohol consumption – you’d think they’re unpatriotic.Of,

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4 Times To Rent Out Your Home Rather Than Selling

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5 House Flipping Mistakes To Avoid

These days, house flipping is a popular concept. There are entire TV shows devoted to it. It may even be something you’ve thought about doing yourself.The premise is simple: You buy a home that

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Heres What Youre On The Hook For If Youre Buying A House Remodeled Without A Permit

Imagine attending an open house and stepping into a newly remodeled master bathroom complete with brand-new Carrara marble tiling and a luxurious free-standing tub. Home improvements like this are

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What Is A Hard Money Lender

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Do You Get Your Earnest Money Back At Closing

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FICO Scores For May Mortgage Borrowers Remain At Two Year High

Ellie Mae report shows borrowers are in better shape financiallyA strong labor market coupled with lower borrowing costs has put Americans in better shape to get a mortgage, based on average FICO

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7 Signs You Should Put Off Or Call Off A Home Renovation

Taking on a home renovation can improve your property's value, remedy any nagging structural or cosmetic flaws, and generally make your place way more comfortable to live in. All good!But hold on:

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6 Crucial Plumbing Facts That Could Make Or Break Your Bathroom Remodel

Planning to remodel your bathroom into the oasis of your dreams? Then you'd better get a handle on your plumbing. Even if you don't see the pipes connected to your sink or shower, understanding how

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Why Is Hardscaping The Landscaping Element Every Gorgeous Yard Needs

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Mortgage Rates Hold At Two Year Lows Giving Borrowers Another Shot At The Action

Rates for home loans mostly held steady, and even declined slightly, as investor jitters about a slowing economy and geopolitics continued to keep bonds attractive.The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage

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What Does Days On Market Mean

In the real estate game, many buyers understand that knowing a home's days on market (DOM) is absolutely critical intel. Why? Because the number of days a home spends on the market directly affects

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6 Ways To Embark On An EcoFriendly Renovation

Eco-friendly living is all about choosing materials and practices that are beneficial to the environment. But did you know this can also include your renovation process and the materials you use?

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How To Hire A Bathroom Contractor

Is it time to turn your en suite bathroom into a personal oasis? Before you start poring over which tiles or slipper tub to install, know that the far more crucial choice is to find the right

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The One Room Homeowners Are Spending The Most On

Homeowners are increasingly living out their HGTV fantasies by remodeling their homes, with a particular focus on taking their kitchens and bathrooms from drab to fab.Homeowners spent the most on

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Should You Do Home Upgrades Now Or Right Before You Sell

Home sellers are often told to make upgrades to their house before they sell ... but when is the best time to get those home improvements underway, in terms of scoring the best ROI?It's a tough

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Heres How To Ensure Your Confidential Financial Details Remain Secure When Buying A House

Buying a home is a complicated process that involves sharing sensitive information with multiple people. And the latest major data leak highlights the risk consumers take on when they share that

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6 Surprisingly Petty Issues That Can Sabotage A Home Sale

Selling a home can be a long, time-consuming process, especially if the seller and potential buyers butt heads. Sometimes, the issues behind a deal-making deadlock are legitimately big. Other times,

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5 Ways To Grow A Gorgeous Garden In A Tiny Space

In a perfect world, you'd have a sprawling backyard with enough room to plant everything from tulips to turnips. But in reality? Many of us have a very small outdoor space.And no, we're not talking

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5 Myths About Renting Out Your Home You Should Stop Believing Immediately

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How Long Can You Expect Your Roof Or Fridge To Last

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5 Ways Youre Unknowingly Sabotaging Your Housecleaning Efforts

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4 Reasons Why Summer Is The Best Time To Move

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6 Ways To Try Out A Neighborhood Before Moving There

If you're looking for a better way to get a feel for a new neighborhood, consider a tactic some recent homebuyers in New York have put to use: Because they are seriously considering moving to a

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5 Factors To Consider When Deciding The Best Time To Sell Your House

When is the best time to sell your house? Timing can make a big difference in terms of selling your home quickly and for the most cash. But here's the thing: The rules on pinpointing that best time

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Sellers Share The Upgrades They Wish They Would Have Made Sooner

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How Much Does A Backyard Renovation Cost And What Can You Get For Your Money

How much does a backyard renovation cost? It's a question that many homeowners ponder if they're on the verge of upgrading their yard from an overgrown thicket to a beautifully landscaped oasis. But

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6 Ways To Fix The Most Common HomeBuying Mistake

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The Best Flooring For Resale Value

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Lazy Millennials Actually Work Harder At Buying Selling Homes

An overhyped stereotype about millennials is that they’re entitled narcissists who can’t be bothered to do homework, legwork or even stash a few dollars in the bank (see avocado toast). That

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Ginnie Mae Moves To Crack Down On Repeated Refinancings

Ginnie Mae is taking steps to curb repeated mortgage refinancings that it says are hurting both borrowers and investors.The government-backed firm, which promotes homeownership by guaranteeing

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How To Get Your Homes Real Estate Listing Removed From The Internet

Wondering how to get a real estate listing removed from the internet? Whether you're a seller who's withdrawn your house from the market, or a buyer who's just closed on a new place, fielding

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6 Phrases Home Buyers Should Never Include In Their Offer Letter

Conventional wisdom dictates that one of the more successful tactics out there to convince a home seller to accept your offer is get personal: Include some sweet and heartfelt information to them in

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Does Writing An Offer Letter To The Seller Help

You’ve spent months—perhaps years—searching for the perfect house, and you've finally found it. But you're not alone; there's a very strong chance that other home shoppers are vying for it,.

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6 Ways You Didnt Realize Your Bathroom Is Stressing You Out

In the best-case scenario, your bathroom is your own blissful retreat—a little slice of spa heaven where you can unwind without ever leaving the comfort of your own home.In reality, your bathroom

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5 Nonlazy Reasons To Skip Remodeling Before You Sell

Home sellers often hear that if they ever hope to find a buyer, they must whip their house into perfect shape—fix this, paint that, overhaul your horribly outdated kitchen. But just looking at the

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2019s Housing Market Is Likely To Be Stronger Than We Thought

Despite a real estate slowdown gripping the nation, this year's housing market is expected to be busier than realtor.com® economists originally predicted late last year. That means more home—

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8 Things Your Plumber Wishes You Knew About Conserving Water

You've heard it before: Conserving water is important. With all the water that Americans use each day—an estimated 322 billion gallons—every action you take, no matter how small, can contribute

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7 Ways To Celebrate Earth Day Year Round With EcoFriendly Items At Home

While many people turn out for Earth Day events that ironically generate tons of trash, this eco-holiday offers an opportunity to create lasting change in your habits that can lessen your impact on

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Why Spring Is The Perfect Time To Sell Your Home

Spring is in the air and homebuyers are coming out of hibernation. With the holidays over and the weather warming up, it’s the time of year that's typically considered a hot period for the housing

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Mortgage Rates Continue Ticking Up As Spring Home Buying Season Heats Up

After hitting a low point last month, mortgage interest rates are continuing to tick back up along with activity in the home-buying market for spring.Rates rose to an average 4.17% on a 30-year-

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Gen Z Is Already Saving For A Home

Get ready for Gen Z. People between the ages of 18 and 23 are eager to become homeowners, and many are already setting aside money for a down payment.More than half of Gen Zers surveyed said they

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Real Estate Commission Explained

If you hire a real estate agent to help you buy, sell, or rent a house, this professional gets paid through a real estate commission. So how much do you pay, and what for? Is there any wiggle room

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Mortgage Rates Tick Up As The Spring Selling Season Hangs In The Balance

Rates for home loans edged up after reports showed the economy was shrugging off its winter sluggishness.The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.12% during the April 11 week, mortgage guarantor

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A Guide To Mortgage Interest Rates And Why They Go Down And Up Plus What To Do

Mortgage interest rates are a mystery to many of us—whether you're a home buyer in need of a home loan for your first house or your fifth.After all, what does “interest rate” even mean? Why do

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Will Your House Sell Itself

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With Mortgage Rates At A Low Loan And Refinance Applications Surge

As mortgage interest rates dropped to their lowest levels in over a year last week, home owners and buyers raced to submit their refinance and other loan applications before rates start going up

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8 Attic Renovation Mistakes That Cause Setbacks Or Spell Disaster

The unused square footage in your attic can be renovated to increase the livable space in your home. However, if the project isn’t done correctly, you can have a major problem on your hands.

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Why Filing Your Taxes This Year Rules If Own A Rental Property

My husband and I recently purchased our first rental property. Over the past few months, we’ve repaired and renovated the 1930s-era home, and are starting to look for tenants.And it turns out our

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The Real Risks And Rewards Of A Reverse Mortgage Revealed

What is a reverse mortgage? Most home buyers applying for a loan know what a mortgage is, but a reverse mortgage may seem far less familiar. Maybe you've heard this mortgage term bandied about, and

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These Are The Most Expensive Fails In DIY Home Improvement

Many thrifty homeowners would rather save a few bucks by taking on upgrades themselves (after a few hours binge-watching HGTV and YouTube tutorials, of course) than by calling in the professionals

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6 Crucial Rules For Renovating Your Basement

A good basement renovation can provide extra living space and increase the value of your home, so for most homeowners, fixing it up is a no-brainer if they have the cash. But a botched remodel can

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What Every Homeowner Should Know About Their Home Insurance Coverage

Have you ever wondered, "How much home insurance do I need?" Well, you might, especially when you're faced with a lengthy list of policy options from your insurance agent. Do you really need all

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Your 2019 Home Tax Deduction Checklist

Welcome to your home tax deduction checklist! For homeowners, this kind of guidance is essential in the wake of all the (confusing) changes ushered in by the new tax plan, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

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The Best Week Of The Year To Put Your House On The Market Is

For the past few years, home sellers have been in the driver's seat. With hordes of buyers fighting over a very limited supply of properties, many homes sold in days—and landed their sellers a

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How To Clean A Refrigerator

Knowing how to clean a refrigerator is an essential part of home maintenance. Most people open their fridge multiple times a day, but you'd be surprised by how infrequently fridges actually get

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5 Expensive Home Repairs And How To Avoid Them

The cost of owning a house includes more than just your monthly mortgage payment. Home improvements and repairs also take up a large amount of your budget, but they're essential to maintaining—and

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Heres How Much Home Staging Can Pay Off For Sellers

Home sellers have a lot to worry about: Will anyone want to buy their property for its full asking price? How long will it take to find a buyer? Is it really worth the expense and trouble of staging

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Mortgage Rates Skid To Lowest Level In A Year

Mortgage rates skidded last week to the lowest level in a year.Freddie Mac said the 30-year benchmark mortgage rate fell 10 basis points to 4.31% in the week ending March 14.The 15-year fixed rate

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How Long Does It Take To Buy A House

There are a lot of steps to buying a house, and that takes time: It takes 50 days on average to just close on a home.How long does it take to buy a house? A lot depends on how much time you spend

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A Step By Step Guide To Buying Your First Home In A Year

Buy Your First Home in One Year: A Step-by-Step GuideThe ultimate timeline ensures the smoothest of transitions.A real yard. Closets bigger than your average microwave. The freedom to decorate

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Dont Make These 8 Mistakes When Remodeling Your Bathroom

A bathroom remodel can add value to a home, but it also has the potential to be a huge headache. Why? There are many opportunities for missteps.“Bathrooms are often the hardest spaces to remodel

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5 Tax Deductions When Selling A Home

You may be wondering if there are tax deductions when selling a home. And the answer is: You bet!But there's also a new tax code—aka the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act—causing quite a bit of confusion

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How Does Paying Off Your Mortgage Affect Your Credit Score

A mortgage is probably the largest debt you’ll ever have, and paying it off is a significant achievement. But credit bureaus like Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion might not be as thrilled.

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A Whole New Credit Score Is Coming

Chances are good you know all about  your credit score. Also called a FICO score, this magical number is a major factor in many financial transactions,

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Whats The Difference Between A Short Sale And A Foreclosure

What is the difference between a foreclosure and a short sale? Foreclosures and short sales are both options for homeowners who fall behind on mortgage payments, but it's important to understand the

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What Is A Short Sale And The Benefits For Buyers And Sellers

What is a short sale? Let's break it down. Say you're selling your home; however, the offer you get is so low, it won't cover the total amount you owe on your mortgage. But you need to unload it, so

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7 Tax Benefits Of Owning A Home

What are the tax benefits of owning a home? Homeowners might be wondering this right around now as they prepare to file their taxes. Especially since the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act—the most

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8 Ways To Fall Back In Love With Your Home

Remember when you first moved in to your house? Ah, what a feeling.You felt like your home was made just for you: It fit your budget, your goals, and even your personality. In short, you fell in.

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5 Things Every First Time Home Buyer Needs To Know

Here's what every first-time home buyer needs to know to dive into house hunting with confidence—and with as few curveballs as possible. Whether it's getting a mortgage, choosing a real estate

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Everything You Need To Know About A Pending Home Sale

Few home sales fall through once they reach pending status, but that doesn't mean all parties don't have plenty of work to complete before closing day. Few moments are as exciting for both a home

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8 Ways To Make Buyers Fall In Love With Your Flex Space Or Bonus Room

Home buyers love to get the most space for their money. In fact, a recent survey revealed that 66% of millennials cite more living space as the No. 1 reason for buying a house. So if you’re

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5 Common Electrocution Dangers In Your Home

Of all the scary hazards that could exist in your home, electrocution is one that should not be taken lightly. There's always a risk of being shocked by some of those handy products you use in your

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The 8 Biggest Eyesores In Your Home And Genius Ways To Hide Them

Those essential but utilitarian home items, such as electrical cords, radiators, and AC units, aren't exactly the prettiest room features. But you can't really rip them out—especially if you're a

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How To Measure Your Homes Square Footage

One of the most confusing and misleading metrics in real estate is area — the "size" of a house.Like most aspects of owning or purchasing a house, measuring the square footage of a home is

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How To Househunt For A Home Office

In this day in age, working from home has become both increasingly popular and feasible. If you are looking to buy a new home with plans to have a home office, keep in mind some of these factors so

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5 Home Remodeling Projects With Top Dollar Returns

Not all home improvements are created equal. These will reward you the most when it comes time to sell.Your home is in the perfect location, came at the perfect price, with the perfect lot. (Yay

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6 Presale Home Improvements Sellers Wish Theyd Never Made

Every seller wants their home to stand out from the crowd, and that often means beefing it up with shiny new improvements before putting it on the market. But sometimes owners go overboard, and the

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7 Step House Cleaning Plan For The Germaphobe Inside Us All

It's that time of year when truly scary stuff is happening outside our doors. Flu season is in full swing, a mystery polio-like illness has affected people in more than two dozen states, and we're

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How To Guard Against 9 Winter Home Hazards

The blustery winter months are already here for some regions of the country, and for others the coldest part of the year is coming fast.Whether you expect to cross-country ski to work in the first

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Heres Why Your Listing Is Turning Buyers Off

The best way to get potential buyers through the door and interested in your home is with a stellar online listing. Photos of the house and a description of the property are standard fare, but not

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6 Reasons Why Your Higher Offer Wont Win The House

You've finally found your dream home, and it's actually in your budget. You can swing it—with cash to spare—but with competition fierce, why not go all in and offer way above asking? The seller

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Top Landscaping Trends Of 2019

Why go out and blow a ton of money when you can stay in—and invite people over to your beautifully landscaped backyard? And why would you want to sign up for a crowded yoga class when you can get

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8 Pro Tips For A Picture Perfect Paint Party

Does your home's paint look dated and faded? Don't despair—there's another way to give your house a makeover without the drudgery of taping and rolling: Make your friends do it!A paint party is an

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A Guide To Eradicating Mold From Your Home

Mold is unsightly in appearance, unpleasant to smell, and sometimes unhealthy to humans.“While some types of home mold just look and smell bad, other types, such as black mold, can be very,

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A Checklist Of Loan Documents You Need For Each Type Of Mortgage PreApproval

Whether you’re self-employed or applying for an FHA or USDA loan, here’s the pre-approval paperwork you need.If you’re serious about buying a home, getting pre-approved for a mortgage is a

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5 Temporary Fixes When You Need A Major Winter Home Repair

There’s no such thing as a convenient time for something to break in your home. But winter is particularly risky because the loss of heat in your home or water damage can quickly escalate, which

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How To Organize Your Bathroom Fast

Overwhelmed by the thought of decluttering your home? Then it's time to start small by tackling the smallest organizing project in your home: your bathroom.Bathrooms are clutter magnets. It makes

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Mortgage Rates Hit A 9Month Low As Government Shutdown Is Already Biting The Housing Market

Rates for home loans slid again, even as the ongoing government shutdown poses a fresh threat for a wobbly housing market.The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.45% in the January 10 week,

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12 Habits People With Clean Organized Homes Have In Common

We’ve all been there—barely surviving the morning rush hour of making lunches, signing permission slips, and searching for matching socks. Then after a busy day at work and school comes the

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Real Estate Mistakes You Dont Want To Make During A Divorce

Consider these options before making a decision that could leave you financially or legally strapped.Dividing your assets in a divorce settlement is tough, and there's no way to split a co-owned

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The New Rules Of Neighborly Etiquette

Neighborhoods just aren't the same as they used to be.Gone are the days when everyone on your street knows you and waves when you pass one another by. One recent study by the City Observatory found

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9 Furnace Maintenance Moves We All Forget That Raise Our Heating Bill

With winter roaring in at full speed, it's time to brush up on your furnace maintenance skills. After all, you wouldn't expect your car to run at top efficiency if you never change the oil, right

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Your Winter 2019 Home Maintenance To Do List

We won't sugarcoat it: The thought of doing home maintenance right now is pretty blah—especially with the holidays looming and weeks of gloomy winter days on the horizon. Who wants to do housework

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How To Clean For The Holidays

'Tis the season for binge cleaning. We've got your step-by-step guide to preparing your house for holiday guests.When it comes to the holidays, it can be overwhelming to prepare your house for all

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What You Need To Know Before Building A Wine Cellar In Your Home

According to a 2016 study from the Wine Institute, the average American drinks nearly three gallons of wine each year, making the U.S. the largest wine-consuming nation per capita. With stats like

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What Are Granny Pods

After children grow up and leave the nest, their parents may enjoy their newfound freedom for a while. But as those parents grow older, they and their adult kids may think about living close

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4 Mistakes You Might Make Moving From A City To The Suburbs

There comes a time in many people’s lives—usually when the words “baby” or “school district” become a regular part of the vocabulary—when people flee the glamorous city to the charming

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Are Home Warranties A Smart Buy

When you buy a product or service for your home, you want peace of mind that you're getting your hard-earned money's worth. If things happen (and they do happen), you want to know the company will

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How To Buy A House For Your Child Even If You Arent Loaded

Want to learn how to buy a house for your grown child? Being able to help your grown kids become homeowners can really give them a leg up—particularly in this pricey housing market.“Between

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6 Times Its Actually Smarter To Buy A New Home Before Selling The Old

You should never buy a new house before selling your old home ... at least, that’s the conventional wisdom. Because if you buy before you sell, you run the risk of owning two homes at once—and

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5 Times Its Smarter To Sell Your Old Home Before Buying A New One

If you own a home but are ready to move onto a bigger and better abode, one of the most important questions to ponder before you embark on this transition is this: Should you sell before you buy, or

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5 Reasons To Talk To A Lender Long Before You Buy A Home

Most potential home buyers wait to talk to

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6 Presale Home Improvements Sellers Wish Theyd Never Made

Every seller wants their home to stand out from the crowd, and that often means beefing it up with shiny new improvements before putting it on the market. But sometimes owners go overboard, and the

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7 Weekend Improvement Projects You Can Do In Your Pajamas

For those of us who live in cold-weather climates, the winter months are synonymous with hibernation mode. Who wants to go outside when you have to shovel 2 feet of snow just to see the sidewalk?But

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How Long Does It Take To Improve Your Credit Score Enough To Buy A Home

How long does it take to improve your credit score? If you're hoping to buy a home, having a good credit score is key, since it helps you qualify for

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The Best Home Improvement Advice I Ever Heard

If you're a homeowner, you've probably heard and read plenty of home improvement advice. It just kind of comes with the territory, right? In fact, the second you sign the mortgage, your fellow

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The 4 Key Trends Home Buyers And Sellers Should Watch In 2019

We're entering the home stretch of 2018, when you can actually say, "See you next year!" to someone you'll see in just a few weeks. It's a time to look ahead, to make new plans, to achieve new.

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6 Reasons Why Selling A House In The Winter May Be The Best Decision Ever

Spring is generally the most popular time of year to sell a house, with hordes of buyers looking to move into a new place before the school year begins. But if you decide to sell your home during

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What Great Listing Photos Can Teach You About Marketing Your Home

Gone are the days when all you needed to get buyers to come take a look at your home was a "For Sale" sign out front and a bit of curb appeal. Long gone, actually. Ancient history!These days,

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8 Cleaning Chores We All Forget That Make A Big Difference

Cleaning the house is a must before guests arrive. Yet while we'll bet your countertops sparkle and your floors gleam, there are a few cleaning tasks that probably fell off your to-do list ... and

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What Is Old House Smell And How Do You Get Rid Of It

Old house smell: Those three dreaded words evoke something rather frightening and repellent to most homeowners. You know what we're talking about, right? It's that musty odor that creeps up and

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Can Suburbs Rebrand Themselves To Snare More Millennial Home Buyers

The affluent Chicago suburb of Lake Forest seemingly has it all: sprawling estates, major corporate employers, country clubs, beaches on Lake Michigan, and two symphony orchestras. A few years ago,

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FHA Will Not Cut Mortgage Insurance Premiums

Actuarial report reveals insurance fund is in good health, but Montgomery says premiums will standThe Federal Housing Administration released details on the health of its flagship Mutual Mortgage

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10 Answers You Should Never Give When Asked Why You Are Selling

“Why are you selling your house?” might seem like a perfectly innocent question from home buyers, but watch out—if you're the home seller they're asking, this is one of the diciest questions

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6 Easy Bathroom Fixes So You Dont Disgust Your Guests

When you host a party, there can be a disproportionate amount of stress over the condition of your bathroom. It's the place your guests will likely spend the least amount of time, but also the place

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6 Fast Fixes To Save Face If Youre Embarrassed By Your Living Room

Nothing can put a damper on your holiday hosting schedule quite like a living room you're embarrassed to share with your guests. After all, it's hard to send out party invites when you cringe at the

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9 Tips For Achieving Maximum Coziness

Gray skies don’t have to mean a drab indoor life.As fall continues and the days become shorter, it’s too tempting to just hibernate until spring. But there is, indeed, joy to be found in the

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Sticky Questions Of New Homeowner Etiquette

So, the last box has finally been unpacked, or at least tucked away in the garage. The shelf paper has been laid, and the hardwood floors are gleaming.Now it’s time to throw open the doors, pour a

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How Long Does It Take To Build Credit History From Scratch

How long does it take to build credit history? If you ever plan to buy a house, establishing a track record of past payments is essential, because it proves

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How Much Money Will You Save Insulating Your Attic

Insulating your attic might not be the sexiest home renovation project around, but it's probably one of the most practical home improvements you can make. Think about it: Every ounce of insulation

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5 Kitchen Renovation Projects You Should Never Do Yourself

The DIY gurus make it look so easy. Home bloggers and HGTV hosts would have us believe that no kitchen project is out of reach for the average homeowner. But take heed: Even the most ambitious among

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How To Sell A Home Fast Even Before The Holidays

Need to know how to sell a home fast, even though the holidays are speedily approaching? If you're thinking of throwing up your hands and giving up hope until the new year, we're here to offer hope:

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How To Buy A Home Fast Even Before The Holidays

Need to know how to buy a home fast since you're hoping to be settled in before the holidays? Then the pressure's definitely on at this point! If you have any hope to host your Thanksgiving feast

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American Homeownership Increases Again As Housing Market Looks For Balance

More Americans became homeowners in the summer months, fresh evidence of a housing market that’s finding some stability after several rocky years.The national homeownership rate was 64.4% in the

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The Guide For Buying Land Building A House Or Buying New Construction

Here are your options for starting from scratch, finding a builder and customizing your home.Sometimes, buying an existing home just won’t work. You may be a homebuyer who’s tired of competing

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Single Female Homeownership Is Baby Booming

The composition of American households is evolving. In 2018, there are more single female homeowners than ever before in our history.Patricia Ramos, a single 63-year-old medical clerk in St.

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What Home Buyers And Sellers Need To Know About Todays Crazy Housing Market

Nevermind the heartfelt personal letters. For aspiring home buyers in today's cutthroat housing market, the secret to success is no secret at all: money, and lots of it.Buyers who successfully close

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Preapproved Vs Prequalified

Your negotiating power and freedom to shop for a home may hinge on the information you provide to your mortgage lender.Preapproved vs. Prequalified: Which Is Best When You're House Hunting?Before

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Buyers Need More Time To Save A Downpayment

Home Buyers Need 7.2 Years to Save Down Payments – 1.5 Years More Than in 1988Buyers these days need 7.2 years to save a 20 percent down payment on the median valued home. That’s up from 5.7

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Can You Prevent Porch Pirates From Stealing Your Packages

How to keep your online orders from falling into thieves' hands.Few things can match the excitement and ease of receiving a package delivered to your front step.That is, until a stranger snags the

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How To Get A Moving Estimate That Wont Become A Moving Target

Newsflash: Moving stinks—and it can be even worse when you don't know how to get a moving estimate you can trust. This can lead to massive misunderstandings, when movers quote you one price before

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Questions To Ask When Your Home Inspection Is Complete

What are some questions to ask a home inspector after he's finished the inspection? Because, let's face it, just staring at that hefty report highlighting every flaw in your future dream home can

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Mortgage Rates Retreat But Housing Market Supply Crunch Wont Let Up

Rates for home loans fell in tandem with the bond market, a welcome respite for the housing market after a recent run-up in home financing costs.The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.85% in the

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The Best Home Buying Advice Ive Heard

If you're house hunting, you're probably getting snowed with advice from well-meaning friends and family members on which neighborhoods are hot, how so-and-so is selling a place you have to see ...

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How To Find Your Dream Home Without Losing Your Mind

Finding your dream home is an exciting adventure that, at times, can also feel all-consuming. On a good day, it's fun to swipe through listings and whiz through every open house in your area, but

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What Is A Recast Mortgage And Should You Try It

What is a recast mortgage? While it sounds more like a fishing trip than a financing tool, it's actually where you pay off a lump sum of your principal (that's the money you owe), then have your

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Home Improvement Project ROI

It’s easy and fun to plan home improvements, but not all projects have the same impact on your home’s value, so you must plan carefully. Here’s a summary of how to get the most bang for your

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Expert Advice On Investing In Vacant Land

Have a short time horizon, do your homework and know your market.INVESTORS LOOKING FOR creative ways to maximize returns in a competitive, hot-selling real estate market may be interested in buying

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How To Buy A House In Your 20s And Why You Really Should

Curious about how to buy a house in your 20s? If you're dubious it can be done, we get it. Between entry-level salaries, college loans, and the desire to just be young and have fun, 20-somethings

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6 Home Renovation Myths To Stop Believing Before You Botch Things Up

Where do home renovation myths start? Maybe in the aisles of your local hardware store or parking lot of the lumber yard. They get traded back and forth and whispered to people who may actually

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How Long Does It Take To Refinance A Mortgage

How long does it take to refinance a mortgage? Refinancing should take anywhere from 30 to 45 days on average, although that can stretch to 60 days if you hit any snags along the way. In other:

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5 Crucial Questions To Ask A Home Inspector

What are some questions to ask a home inspector? If you're buying a house, you know that your home inspector will check it out and make sure it's in decent shape. So if you want to get to know your

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6 Tips For Properly Caring For Your New Construction Home

A newly built house still needs maintenance to keep things from breaking down over time.Buying a new home from a builder means you won’t have to spend time getting used to any loose floorboards,

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US Pending Home Sales Fell In August

WASHINGTON—The number of U.S. existing homes going under contract declined in August for the fourth time in five months, reflecting what appears to be a broader slowdown in the housing market.The

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Mortgage Rates Hit A Seven And A Half Year High As The Easy Money Era Comes To A Close

Rates for home loans jumped along with yields in the broader bond market, taking financing costs to a recent high and raising fresh questions about the effect of another headwind on a housing market

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Read This First If You Have Been Thinking About Converting Your Garage

You love your home, but spacewise, you’re bursting at the seams. Building an extension seems daunting, but moving out of your fabulous neighborhood is off the table. Hmm ... you do have that two

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The Guide To Understanding Your Home Value

The science behind calculating the value of your home and what it means for your home's sale price.Getting ready to sell your house, looking to refinance or buying a new homeowners insurance

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What Does Move In Ready Really Mean

You may need to adjust your mindset before walking into a house advertised as move-in ready.If you’re like many homebuyers in today’s market, you’re looking for a house that’s ready for you

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Why Fall Is The Best Time For Planting

Spring is overrated for planting perennials, shrubs and trees. Starting plants in autumn has advantages for both garden and gardenerFall is the best time to garden, and it’s about time we realized

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5 Ways To Put Fall Leaves To Work In Your Garden

Improve your soil and yard the organic way with a valuable garden booster that grows on treesIn fall my town holds leaf collection days, when homeowners (or their landscape services) blow or rake

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7 Common Mistakes Seasoned Homebuyers Make

Mistakes in the homebuying process are common, whether it's the first home you're buying or the fifth. One of the best ways to avoid taking a misstep when purchasing real estate is to understand the

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5 Red Flags That Could Sink A Home Inspection

You’ve found the perfect house, located right near that cool new shopping area and the best schools. It even has the right number of bathrooms! Swoon. It's time to sign the paperwork and move...

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Why Are More Seniors Holding Onto Mortgage Debt

Study sheds light on factors influencing older homeownersFewer older homeowners are paying off their mortgages in retirement, and some are worried the trend may have a lasting impact on the

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Homebuilder Confidence Holds Its Ground

Although cost causes concern, demand is persistentAlthough homebuilders still fear increasing material costs, homebuilder confidence remained unchanged at 67 in September, according to the National

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Mortgage Rates Hit 6 Week High With Housing Market At A Crossroad

Rates for home loans rose to a six-week high as upbeat economic data and a bulging deficit spurred a yield-lifting bond sell-off and big questions gripped the housing market.The 30-year fixed-rate

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Can You Actually Turn A Profit Flipping Homes In Todays Market

Tight inventory is making house flipping more of a gamble, but that's not stopping ambitious investors from giving it a shot.Back in 2012, house flipping seemed like the perfect opportunity for a

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What Is Debt To Income Ratio

What is debt-to-income ratio? This equation, comparing how much money you owe to the money you make, affects whether you can qualify for a mortgage—but let’s unpack this important term into

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Price Cuts Becoming More Common Especially At The High End

Price Cuts Becoming More Common, Especially at the High End About 14 percent of all listings across the U.S. had a price cut in June 2018, up from a recent low of 11.7 percent near the end of.

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Boomers Are Staying Put Instead Of Downsizing

But there are reasons Boomers aren't moving out of their family homes.Baby Boomers are not ready to let go. The approximately 70 million Americans between 54 and 73 years old are not downsizing into

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How To Maximize Increases In Your Home Value

Help ensure your home's growth in value by making improvements that keep it on par with the best houses in the neighborhood.U.S. homeowners with mortgages have seen their home equity increase nearly

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What Is The Difference Between Market Value And Assessed Value

Recent sales of nearby homes can be a significant factor when determining the value of your house.Understanding your home’s value is an important part of knowing your net worth, what you’ll

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Construction Spending Increases A Tenth Of A Percent In July

The U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce announced that construction spending during July 2018 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.32 billion, 0.1% above the revised

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Here Are 5 Essential Home Selling Moves You Might Not Be Doing

To get your home sold, you have to tackle a rather long to-do list. Some of these tasks are well-known, and some are just good ol' common sense—like finding a real estate agent and spreading the

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Add Instant Curb Appeal With These 6 Easy Changes

It should come as no surprise that before you sell your home, you've got to make it sparkle—after all, prospective buyers will be peeking in every cabinet, corner, and closet they can get into.But

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Home Sales Hit A Fresh Low In July As Housing Market Looks For Direction

The housing market has made little progress over the past year or so, and this summer, the wind officially seems to have gone out of its sails. One after another, the economic data reports have

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How To Price A Home In A Sellers Market

How to price a home in a seller's market may be a question that's top of mind if you're listing your home. Much of the United States right now is a seller's market—which spells potential for major

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Mortgage Insurance Premium Explained

If you're a first-time mortgage borrower, you might be asking yourself, "What is MIP?" Home buyers considering getting a loan from the Federal Housing Administration will find MIP, or mortgage

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