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Real Estate News

- What is mortgage recasting, and why do it? Homeowners who want to lower their monthly mortgage payments might consider mortgage recasting. Also known as re-amortization, mortgage recasting is an option that allows folks to lower their monthly home loan payments without changing their mortgage interest rate or terms. How mortgage recasting works First, borrowers must make a large lump-sum payment toward the loan principal. Lenders usually require $5,000 or more to recast a mortgage. The remaining balance is then amortized to reduce the monthly payments. There are usually fees associated with ... [Read More]

Source: bankrate.com

- Cut down on cleaning time and repair costs by adding these easy-to-maintain finishes to your kitchen If you want to cut down on the time it takes to keep your kitchen spick and span, you should take a closer look at your finishes. From flooring to hardware, the materials you select can tack on extra time to your cleanup routine. Wondering which options cut down on dusting, scrubbing and wiping? Here’s a list of easy-to-maintain finishes. Flooring 1. Ceramic and porcelain tile. Kitchens are both wet zones and high-traffic areas, so proper flooring material is key. Ceramic and porcelain tile ... [Read More]

Source: houzz.com

- In the wake of a booming home price run-up, economists explain the recent real estate market shift caused by homebuyer fatigue and affordability challenges. In December 2008, almost a decade ago exactly, Case-Shiller posted a record 18% price drop in home values across the country  as the subprime mortgage crisis reached fever pitch. After a slow and painful recession period, economic prosperity pushed the market out of recovery mode and into a full-fledged real estate boom characterized by double-digit price growth, rock-bottom inventory and surging buyer demand over the past few years. ... [Read More]

Source: forbes.com

- Buying a home is a huge financial decision, and, if you're about to do so, your life advisory panel (family, friends, that opinionated co-worker…) is probably eager to weigh in. While well-intentioned, not all mortgage advice is good. Here, financial and real estate experts share some of the worst mortgage advice they hear, as well as tips on what to do instead: 1. Don't bother with a pre-approval letter You may hear that because a pre-approval isn't reviewed by an underwriter, it's not official, says Jesse Shafer , a real estate agent with Compass in New York City. Still, the pre-approval ... [Read More]

- Before you hire a home inspector, read some of their little-known secrets. Don’t find a home inspector through your real estate agent. It’s in the agent’s best interest to have the deal go through quickly, so some pitch inspectors who find few problems. Here are some things that all smart homeowners do once a year . If you have to go through a real estate agent… ….don’t forget to seek homeowner testimonials to back up those referrals. Remember, some less-than-scrupulous agents may be tempted to refer inspectors who tend to let things slide. If I don’t spend at least two hours at ... [Read More]

Source: rd.com

- Get quick and easy access to your home value, neighborhood activity and financial possibilites. Track my home Click the to save properties Click the to save properties Click to get alerts on new listings Click to get alerts on new listings Love to Entertain? 7 Features Your Home Must Have to Host Right Do you love hosting dinner parties, holiday gatherings, even full-on New Year's Eve bashes at home? Then you'll want to make sure your house is rigged with a few essential features that make entertaining a breeze. Whether you're looking to buy a new place or considering a renovation ... [Read More]

Source: realtor.com

- How to get rid of PMI, or private mortgage insurance If you bought a house and made a down payment of less than 20 percent, the lender required you to buy mortgage insurance. The same goes if you refinanced with less than 20 percent equity. Private mortgage insurance is expensive, but you can’t remove it until you have met some conditions. “Private mortgage insurance protects the lender from the elevated risk presented by a borrower that made a small down payment,” says Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate’s chief financial analyst. “Once the borrower has a sufficient equity cushion, the PMI ... [Read More]

Source: bankrate.com

- If there's one thing you should know about me, it's that I take holiday decorating extremely seriously. I have strong opinions about what color Christmas lights I like, and I could write a dissertation on the proper use of a garland. Decorations set the tone for how wonderful the holidays will be, IMO, so they are of the utmost importance. If you're with me, you're probably mapping out how you can make your Christmas decorations work for Thanksgiving , because why should only one holiday be magical? Don't worry, I've got the answers you need. Not everyone decorates their house for ... [Read More]

Source: romper.com

- For gardeners who heat their homes in winter using stoves or fireplaces, good-quality wood ashes can be a soil-amendment bonus. But if applied improperly, they can be a caustic topping for foliage-heavy plants and seedlings. The primary benefits of recycling wood ash into the soil are for fertilizing and raising pH levels to make soil less acidic, said Leonard Perry, horticulture professor emeritus with the University of Vermont. ‘‘What this means for soil ashes is that if your soil is 6.5 to 7 or above, don’t add them,’’ Perry said in a fact sheet. Always test the soil before ... [Read More]

- Opinion: The biggest lessons we learned from flipping a house Sometimes it’s best to learn from the experiences of others They say we learn best from experience. And I think this is true. At the same time, we should never overlook the valuable lessons we can learn from the experiences of others. Though I don’t consider our experience flipping a house a failure, we learned many valuable lessons. So many lessons. I share this story so these lessons can help anyone thinking about flipping their first home (or renovating a rental property ). Our story Alan (my husband) and I considered ... [Read More]

- Are you ready to go DIY? Replacing the floors in your home is a surefire way to give your space a fresh, new look. At the same time, purchasing quality flooring and hiring an experienced professional can get pricey — fast. If you’re craving a new floor and aren’t afraid to go DIY, attempting your own flooring project can save you lots of money. Of course, it can also turn into a huge mess if you don’t do all the research first. To save you from a major headache, TODAY Home consulted the pros to find out exactly what you need to know before starting your own DIY flooring project . Want ... [Read More]

Source: today.com

- The heat will certainly be on this winter. With winter storms hitting many parts of the country early in the winter season, furnaces are plugging away, causing heating bills across the country to increase. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the typical U.S. family spends at least $2,200 per year on energy bills — with nearly half of that going toward heating and cooling.  To help homeowners combat the cost of heating a home during the winter months, Valerie Mastalka, a home heating and energy efficiency expert at Lennox, suggests looking at areas around the house to keep ... [Read More]