Mark Ross's Blog Posts

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

While many homeowners reach a point where they decide to sell their place, here's an alternative I'm considering for my own home: Rather than sell, I may rent it out instead.When I bought my condo

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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

What is a hard money lender? The real estate term may conjure up visions of crooked-nosed guys who'll cut off a borrower's pinkie finger for flaking on a hard money loan. But you can rest assured

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Do You Get Your Earnest Money Back At Closing

Do you get your earnest money back at closing? If you're buying a house and planning to finance the purchase with the help of a mortgage, the question is bound to come up. The short answer is: You

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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

Looking to make your outdoor area more livable? Consider adding a hardscape feature to complement your plants and flowers. A decked-out backyard can give a big boost to your property's value, and

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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

If you're lucky enough to own more than one property, or have an in-law unit just sitting empty behind your house, the thought has surely occurred to you: Why not just make back some cash by renting

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How Long Can You Expect Your Roof Or Fridge To Last

IF YOU ARE BUYING OR selling a house, odds are you're hyper-focused on the layout, the closet space and the yard – all aspects that a homeowner can't easily change. But another important

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5 Ways Youre Unknowingly Sabotaging Your Housecleaning Efforts

Let's face it: Housecleaning isn't how most of us would ideally spend our free time. We put it off and off and off, until we can't ignore the mess any longer. And when we do finally get around to

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4 Reasons Why Summer Is The Best Time To Move

Moving is the worst. But for those who can be flexible in scheduling their move, choosing the right season to relocate can make the whole experience smoother. So which time of the year is most

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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

If you’re like most homeowners, your house is a host of tiny irritations you keep meaning to fix but never do. Maybe it’s a light fixture you constantly bang your head on, or wallpaper you’ve

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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

What's the most common home-buying mistake? If you're reading this from a cramped living room, or while lying in your itty-bitty "master" bedroom, you probably know the answer: buying a too-small

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The Best Flooring For Resale Value

What's the best flooring to boost your home's resale value? Whether you're selling your place or are just thinking about replacing what's under your feet with something shiny and new, you'll want to

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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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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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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

Although housing prices are finally beginning to cool, there's no denying that much of the nation is still in a seller's market.Case in point: The rat-infested Orange County, CA, "hoarder home" that

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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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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

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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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What Is A Mortgage Note And Do You Know Where Yours Is

What is a mortgage note? Also known as a promissory note or deed of trust note, it's the basic loan contract given to you by your lender—the document you signed on the dotted line to make your

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6 Questions Youd Never Think To Ask But Should When Buying A House

When buying a house is high on your priority list and you spot The One—the house that has everything you've ever dreamed of and more—it can be tempting to put pedal to the metal and close the

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Fewer Americans Uproot Themselves For A New Job

Fewer U.S. workers are moving around the country to seek new job opportunities, as changing family ties and more openings near home make people less willing to uproot their lives for work.About 3.5

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5 Mortgage Moves You May Not Realize You Need To Do

Getting a mortgage is easy, right? You’ve seen the TV commercials and the billboard ads touting promises like, “Get approved for a mortgage today!” Well, sorry to break the news, but the

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How To Keep Your Beloved Plants Safe During A Move

Transporting philodendrons and fiddle-leaf figs during a move can be tricky, so knowing how to ship plants is very useful.Few moving companies are willing to throw plants on the truck, especially

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Foreclosures Drop To Lowest Level In Nearly 12 Years

Mortgage delinquencies and foreclosure rates in the U.S. dropped to their lowest level for may in the past 12 years, according to the latest Loan Performance Insights report from CoreLogic, a

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Mortgage Rates Tick Down As More Home Buyers Choose To Wait It Out

Interest rates for home loans ticked down as simmering trade tensions kept investors flocking to the safety of bonds, even as evidence mounts that more would-be home buyers may be giving up.The 30

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What To Look For In A Fixer Upper

Renovating a fixer-upper is not for the faint of heart. It takes money, hard work, and patience. But if you're able to pull off a successful transformation, you'll reap the benefits.“Fixing up a

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6 Surprising Ways Your Kitchen Is Stressing You Out

The kitchen might be the heart of the home, but it can also unwittingly be the cause of your household stress. No, we're not talking about when you burn Monday night's dinner, or come home to a pile

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Animal Loving Home Buyers Leave Decisions To The Dogs

For two years, Kelly Heskett searched real estate listings for a home big enough for her noisy, rambunctious family. She found an ideal one last month in nearby Norristown, PA: a three-bedroom, 2.5

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7 Qualities Of A Good Neighbor

If you want good neighbors, you’ll first have to become one yourself. Master these seven techniques, and even you (yes, you!) can win the approval of your entire neighborhood.1. Good neighbors

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5 Mortifying Reasons Mortgage Applications End Up In The Reject Pile

Picture this nightmare: You apply for a mortgage, but your application gets rejected. Suddenly, you’re hit with an overwhelming wave of embarrassment, shock, and horror. It’s like having your

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Homeownership Rate Jumps To 4 Year High As More Americans Make Gains

More Americans became homeowners in the spring, and the number of renters decreased, adding to evidence that consumers still aspire to ownership despite ongoing housing market headwinds.The national

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Mortgage Rates Rebound In Critical Moment For Housing

Rates for home loans jumped along with the broader bond market, setting up what one economist is calling a key test of the health of the housing market.The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.54%

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The Cost Of Selling Without A Real Estate Agent

You’ve heard of buyer’s remorse; but without your market expertise and sales skills to back them up, sellers who choose to sell their home on their own just may experience “seller’s”

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How To Finance A House Flip With 5 Types Of Fix And Flip Loans

If you're wondering how to finance a house flip, you're not alone. Buying, renovating, then quickly reselling houses for profit can be a highly lucrative endeavor, yet finding a loan to fund such a

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What Would A Home Buyer Give Up For A Good School

When Alyssa Sadler and her husband started thinking about buying a home on Long Island, NY, they focused on diverse communities in good school districts. As newlyweds, they planned on having

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What Is A Single Family Home

The phrase "single-family home" is something you'll often see when browsing through real estate listings. A single-family home might seem easy to define: It's a home for a single family, right? Eh,

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Heres How Much A Low Credit Score Costs Home Buyers

With skyrocketing home prices and rising mortgage rates, many home buyers are frantically looking for ways to cut down on costs wherever they can. But in one area, it makes sense to ramp up,

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What Is The Right Of Rescission

The right of rescission is a little-known—but very valuable—part of the home loan process. This federally protected right can come into play when you are refinancing or taking out a home equity

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Mortgage Rates Tick Down But Can Borrowers Seize The Opportunity

Rates for home loans ticked down as the bond market moved sideways and the housing market made little headway.The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.52% during the July 19 week, down one basis

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Local Bookstores Youll Want To Know

With the number of rainy, mild months this region has, it’s unsurprising how many book lovers are drawn to Portland. After all, what’s better than curling up on a rainy Sunday morning with a cup

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Youve Probably Never Heard Of The Most Expensive Home Maintenance Task

You did it. After years of saving, you mustered up a down payment, your credit was strong enough to secure a mortgage, and you were able to fight off the hordes of other buyers to close on a home of

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How Movers Move Their Own Stuff

No one knows how to move like professional movers. That's their job, after all. And that got us wondering: Once the day arrives where they have to pack up their own stuff and get from point A to

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What A Builder Warranty Covers On New Constructions And What Youre On The Hook For Yourself

So you’re buying a newly constructed home, and it comes with a builder warranty. Awesome! That means that the builder will assume financial responsibility for anything that breaks, right? Well,

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5 Myths And 5 Truths About Selling Your Home

True or false: All real estate advice is good advice. (Hint: Well ... it depends.)Everyone has advice about the real estate market, but not all of that unsolicited information is true. So when it

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White Boxing Is The Hot New Real Estate Strategy That Lets Buyers Visualize Their Dream Home

Home shoppers usually want to see a property at its best. This means that sellers truck in staged furniture, slap on fresh paint, and repair potential problems for buyers.“When you walk into a

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The Best Natural Mosquito Repellents Revealed

Do citronella candles work? With summer in full swing and mosquitoes flitting about you, you may have heard that citronella—an herbal oil found in lemongrass—can banish bugs naturally without

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14 Items That Will Make Moving Day Go Smoothly

For first-time home buyers and seasoned homeowners alike, moving day is a major drag. Sure, it's exciting to start the next chapter of your life in a brand-new place, but the process of moving is

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Dont Rent Out Your Home On Airbnb Before You Read This

You'd be hard-pressed these days to find any homeowners who haven't considered renting out their home on Airbnb or a similar site—it's certainly tempting to make extra cash on a room that's just

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Where Does Dust Come From And How Do You Battle It

Where does dust come from? You may be wondering that after wiping a fine layer off the coffee table you swear you just cleaned the day before. It doesn't matter if you live in the city or the burbs,

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7 Ways To Botch Renovating A Home

“Renovating my house was a piece of cake," said no one ever. Indeed, even seemingly simple projects, like installing a screen door, staining hardwood floors, or refacing kitchen cabinets, can

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Dont Believe These 5 Myths About Real Estate Agents

Do you need one? Do they pocket the whole commission? Let’s set the facts straight.Buyers and sellers often enter the market with misconceptions about real estate agents — how we work, how the

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How To Find A Handyman

Have you ever wondered how to find a handyman? The trick is finding someone trustworthy with a proven track record of success. There are plenty of websites and apps that make it a snap to recruit

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Portlands Best Frozen Treats

With the 4th of July next week and summer in full swing, it’s time we talk about one of summer’s most controversial topics: Where to get the best ice cream. Portland is anything but shy when it

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How To Check For Liens On Your Property

"Is there a lien on my property?" If this is something you're wondering about, then you'll definitely want to find out, pronto. You might think you already know about any liens on a property you

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Happy Housiversary And How Homeowners Celebrate This Hot New Trend

Happy "housiversary"! Um, say what? Yep, #Housiversary is a thing on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and beyond.The reason: Much like a marriage, the day you close the deal and officially "own" your

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8 Things That Are Bound To Go Wrong When Youre Painting A Room

Painting is one of the cheapest and easiest home makeovers out there—no knocking down walls, no pricy appliances. Just you and a brush stand between you and a whole new look!And yet: While

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6 Smart Ways To Build Home Equity

Want to create wealth through homeownership? Build equity.Home equity is the percentage of your home’s value that you own, and it’s key to building wealth through homeownership. Let’s take a

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How To Prepare For Your First Trip Away After Moving In To A New House

You’ve found the perfect new home and finally unpacked and settled in. But now it’s summer, which means you have trips planned that will take you out of town for a few days. If you are still new

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Baby Boomers Are Downsizing And Theres A Problem With What To Do With All Their Stuff

As baby boomers age, many are planning to downsize into smaller homes. But preparing to live in a smaller space brings up a challenge: how to get rid of all the stuff you’ve accumulated through

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Everything You Need To Know About Employer Relocation Packages

Moving for work? Make sure you know exactly how much help you can expect from your employer.If your company has asked you to move to a new city or state for work, you’re not alone. Each year,

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How To Paint Brick

Pondering how to paint brick, or even if you can paint brick? Well, for the most part it's entirely doable—and can give your old fireplace or brick house an easy face-lift. But you'll want to plan

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Youll Never Guess The Hottest Remodel Of 2018

The hottest remodeling jobs of the year aren't all about installing new kitchen cabinets or countertops, putting an eye-catching backsplash above the stove, or adding a sleek yet functional kitchen

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Preparing For Emergencies As Part Of Your Move In Process

I know, one more thing to add to your to-do list when you’re moving into a new house. That’s the last thing you need. Unfortunately disaster tends to strike at inconvenient times, so why not

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Negotiating A Real Estate Deal With A Counteroffer

A lot can happen between an initial offer and closing day. Meet the counteroffer ...Buying a home is rarely as simple as making an offer and paying that offer out. Negotiations can go back and forth

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Plan For These Hidden Costs When Buying Your First Home

Get those rainy day funds in order — you're going to need them.You’re excited because you just found the perfect home. The neighborhood is great, the house is charming and the price is right.But

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The 3 Most Boring Parts Of The HomeBuying Process

When all is said and done, buying a home is exciting—and a milestone to be celebrated. But if you expect each step of the process to be a thrill ride, we're here to tell you you're sorely.

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Checklist For Finding The Right Neighborhood For You Part Two

 Now that you have your neighborhood priority list sorted, it’s time to start exploring! Here are some tips as you do your research on neighborhoods.  Get online Google won’t hold

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Ginnie Mae Reveals New Requirements For VA Refinance

Continues fight against predatory lendingGinnie Mae recently announced new requirements for its Department of Veterans Affairsre finance loans in order to protect service members from predatory

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Deciphering Ego Jargon

Green building techniques can save homeowners money and make the environment a cleaner place. But agents must learn how to translate confusing industry terms into listing descriptions that sell

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Checklist For Finding The Right Neighborhood For You

If you’re moving to an entirely new area, trying to figure out which neighborhood to search for a home in can feel a bit overwhelming. Not to worry, we’re here to help you find the perfect one.

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3 Things Home Buyers Should Know About The Newly Reformed Lending Law

On Thursday, President Donald Trump signed legislation rolling back some of the lending restrictions enacted in response to the housing boom and bust. While the new law doesn’t entirely do away

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8 Real Estate Documents To Keep And What Happens If You Dont

Which real estate documents should you keep after buying a home? After all, you don't want to have to file all of it if you don't have to; but you also don't want to chuck something crucial.Your

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What Is A Due On Sale Clause

What is a "due on sale" clause in a mortgage contract? This common phrase, found in most conventional home loan paperwork, means that when a property is sold, the entire balance of the loan comes.

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3 Pros And 3 Cons Of Buying New Construction

Many house hunters are under the mistaken impression that new construction is flawless, a perception that may be challenging to wrestle with if your seller’s home is surrounded by brand-new

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How To Survive A Move With A New Baby

If you have to move with a little one, the mere thought of it might seem preposterously overwhelming. Well we’re here to tell you- you will survive! But here’s a few tips to make sure you keep

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When Should You Make An Offer Below Asking Price

Homes are expensive, and getting even more so every day. (Also, water is wet and the sky is blue!) Making an offer over asking price—sometimes by absurd amounts—has become a harrowing norm for

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Prepare For The Ultimate Staycation

Rule No. 1 of the best week off at home: Plan ahead.You don’t need to stay in a hotel and play tourist to have a proper staycation. Look no further than your own home for a staycay dreams are made

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5 Ways Youre Destroying Your Lawn

A beautiful, well-manicured lawn is a source of great pride for many homeowners. Maintaining a healthy lawn takes work and hours of TLC, including regular watering, cutting, and laying down

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6 Easy Mistakes To Avoid With Hardwood Installation

When it comes to do-it-yourself renovation jobs, hardwood installation can seem deceptively easy. All you need are a nail gun, kneepads, a steady hand, and a whole lot of wood.Right?But laying

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13 Simple Steps To Prep Your Home For The Best Summer Ever

Take care of your home's hot-weather needs now, and you'll have more time for fun in the sun.Summer will be here before you know it, and you know what that means: Heat, hornets and yard work.If’

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What You Need To Know About Buying A House In Summer 2018

Want more house for your money? Flexibility is in this season.The sun is high and hot—and so is the competition for buying a home.Thinking about buying a home this summer? The sunniest time of

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Mothers Day Ideas That Dont Involve Brunch

If you need a break from the Portland brunch craze but aren’t sure what to do for Mother's’ Day this year, don’t you worry. Here are a few ideas that will hopefully allow you to avoid the

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Old House Vs New House Which Is Better To Buy

Old house versus new house: If you're shopping for a place to live, this may be one of your primary decisions. Is it better to buy brand-new? Or do homes, like wine, get better with time? It turns

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5 Rules For What You Can And Cant Take When You Sell Your House

When standup comedian Nathan Brannon moved into his newly purchased home in rural Washington state, it seemed the joke was on him: The previous owner had left the pegboard on the garage wall, but

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5 Surprising Speedbumps That Can Slow Down A Home Sale

baloon111/iStockOnce home buyers and sellers have negotiated their way to an offer and have a closing date on the books, you'd think they're totally in the clear, right? Well ... not necessarily

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6 Tips For House Hunting In One Day

In the ideal home-buying scenario, attending open houses and pinpointing the perfect place is a breeze. But in a seller's market, finding a home is no small feat, which is why it's important to make

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Beginners Guide To Budgeting For New Homeowners

If you’ve reached the homeowners stage, you most likely have a general idea of your finances. Making the transition from budgeting as a renter and budgeting to save for a home to being a full

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How Much Below The Asking Price Should You Offer On A House

asiseeit/iStockHow much below asking price should you offer on a house? Or is it something you shouldn't try at all? The not-so-simple answer: It all depends on the market you're in and other

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Caring For Pets During A Move

You love your pets. They are part of the family, after all. However, when moving to a new home it can be easy to forget that uprooting pets from their usual space can be a disorienting and upsetting

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Is A Mortgage Transfer Possible

iStockIs a mortgage transfer possible—where you hand off a home loan from one person to another? The answer is usually no. When you sell your home, the buyers have to get their own mortgage and

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How To Meet Your Neighbors

Hero Images/Getty ImagesWant to know the secret of how to meet your neighbors after you've moved into a new home? It's this: Stop waiting for people to swing by with an apple pie. These days you

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Easy Meals To Make When You Are In The Middle Of A Move

Moving is typically a time of stress and insanity, so who has time to cook? I mean, your pans are packed, your cookbooks are who knows where, and none of your kitchen staples have been restocked.

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Is An AllCash Offer On A House Always A Good Idea

iStockAh, the all-cash offer. If you're a home buyer with this ace up your sleeve, you probably have a swagger in your step as you tour homes, looking for the perfect property. Home sellers swoon

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5 Things Not To Bother Fixing Before You Sell Your Home

iStockSelling your home? Then you've likely had that rude awakening where a real estate agent tours your home and breaks some tough news: Your house needs work before it goes on the market.For

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7 Things To Consider Before Buying A Home In The Country

iStockChances are good you've probably imagined—at some time or another—what it would be like to give up your daily grind, uproot, and move to the country. Buying a home in the country would

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How Long Does A Furnace Last And The Warning Signs That It Needs To Be Replaced

Design Pics/Getty ImagesHow long does a furnace last and what exactly does it do for your home? The furnace is one of the most important appliances in your home, as it keeps you and your loved ones

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Gardening Tips For Portlands Climate

As we settle into the spring season, gardening is on the mind. If you are new to the rainy and mild Portland climate, or maybe you just have a yard for the first time, here are some beginner’s

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8 Times Bargain Hunting For A Home Can Backfire

iStockEverybody loves a bargain. But getting one handed to you, gift-wrapped, in this housing market? Fat chance.Limited inventory has boosted prices, and in many cities, sellers have the big end of

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What Is A Closing Disclosure Form

iStockWhat is a closing disclosure form? Put simply, it's a form outlining the terms and costs of your mortgage—and one of the most important pieces of paperwork to check before you close on a.

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8 Secrets To Buying A Home Out Of State Without The Risk Of Remorse

iStockBuying a home is stressful. Buying a home out of state? That's downright scary.We probably don't have to tell you why: You won't typically have the luxury of being able to spend hours touring

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Where To Brunch Right This Easter Sunday

Welcome to Portland. Grab a mimosa and get ready to brunch. It’s what we do here- holidays included. Check out this list of brunch spots to help you do Easter the Portland way. Portland

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The Rooms That Will Make Buyers Bail Even If They Love The House

iStockIn my yearlong house hunt, I've toured countless homes, and that first visit is a lot like a first date. It can be going great, right up until you spot your personal deal killer—like a pack

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Home Staging Ideas For Your Garage

Photo by Garage Guru Enlightened Storage/HouzzNeed some home staging ideas for you garage? Yup, this grease-covered dumping ground that serves as a "home" for your car (at least

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What Is A Sellers Market

iStockWhat is a seller’s market? Simply put, it's a market where there are more home buyers than sellers. Based on basic laws of supply and demand, this means sellers have the upper hand: They

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Home Buyers Are Raring To Go And Planning Strategies As Spring Market Heats Up

iStockDriven by frustrated buyers who rolled over from last year and record-breaking lows in housing inventory, the 2018 spring buying season is expected to be one of the most competitive in years

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Make The Most Out Of Spring Cleaning This Year

If your 2018 resolution was to start the buying/selling process this year, consider this your friendly starting point for reaching your goal and take spring cleaning to a whole new level. Whether

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Spring Cleaning Checklist

With spring selling season arriving, take the time now to polish your home to perfection.1. Let the sun in. Make any room look brighter with clean blinds and windows. Mix a solution of one part

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Get Ready For The Most Competitive Spring Home Buying Season Since The Great Recession

Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesSpring is here — and with it comes the most popular time of year to shop for a home. But if prospective home buyers don’t prepare properly, they could be in for an

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This Is Why Millennials Have Yet To Flood Housing Market

Largest generation isn’t fueling home buying marketMillennials are the largest living generation, however, according to Freddie Mac’s March Insight report, they are falling short of dominating

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15 Things To Do Before Moving Into A New Home

iStockWelcome to the ultimate moving checklist—a list of all the things you should do before moving into your new home.Let's face it: With all the excitement of new digs, it's easy to forget some

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9 Listing Photo Dos And Donts

You have one chance at a great first impression — knock their socks off with listing photos that shine.Your bags are packed, you’re ready to move and the last thing you want to do is follow your

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Watch Out Its A Whole New World With Home Equity Loan Taxes

iStockHave a home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC), or thinking of getting one? Homeowners often tap their home equity for some quick cash, using their property as collateral, but

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7 Ways To Botch Moving Big Time

Peopleimages/iStockIf you’re like us, just the thought of moving is enough to make you cringe. Heck, between sorting through all your stuff, purging items, researching moving companies, and

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Trulia Says Housing Actually Growing More Affordable

A growing number of reports are pointing out the concerns surrounding diminishing affordability, however a new report from Trulia says housing is actually more affordable now than it was 40 years.

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2018 St Patricks Day In Portland

Want to do something special for St. Patrick’s Day but new to the area and not sure where to start? Here are our top suggestions based on what you might be looking for.Culture: In the mood for

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8 Things You Must Do Before Renovating Your House

Renovating your house is an adventure, one that can easily go off the rails. There are a mind-boggling number of wrong turns homeowners can take, from going over budget, to hiring a shady,

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The 2018 New Construction Forecast

gerenme/iStockHome buyers have heard it all before: There aren't enough homes on the market, prices are rising rapidly, and builders aren't putting up enough new abodes. Sorry, buyers. It's not

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5 Disastrous Tax Mistakes People Make When They Work From Home

Dean Mitchell/iStockWorking at home has multiple perks—not the least of which is that short commute to your home office in your PJs. (Yes, it’s a cliché, and yes, it happens.) But while you

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Pending Home Sales Tumble To A 3 Year Low As Housing Crisis Worsens

The numbers: Pending-home sales fell 4.7% to 104.6 in January, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday. That’s the lowest reading since October 2014, and the biggest monthly decline

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Afraid Of Selling Your Home Too Soon And Missing Out On Tons Of Cash

Maya23K/iStockIf you sold your home at a good price, you’d be thrilled, right? But what if, a year or two later, you check in on your old home by idly punching your former address into realtor.

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Best Ways To Deal With Storm Water

These landscape solutions prevent puddling and flooding-and manage to look good, tooRiver of RocksPhoto By Karen BussoliniYou can turn landscaping for water drainage solutions into features that

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How To Make The Most Of A Snow Day

This week you may have noticed the white stuff falling from the sky. While not overly common in the Portland area, snow does happen once or twice a year. When schools get canceled and you can’t

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Buyers Who Arent Paying Cash For A House Arent Necessarily Out Of Luck Heres How You Can Gain An Edg

Buyers who aren't paying cash for a house aren't necessarily out of luck. Here's how you can gain an edge over cash buyers.Buyers making a cash offer on a house are active in many markets, and they

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The Oregon Coast Towns You Want To Know About

It’s mid February and we’re starting to get a little stir crazy. We are dreaming of the warm sunshine and outdoor adventures waiting for us a few months away. To assist in dreaming up those

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The Love Hate Relationship All Owners Have With Their Home

Owning a home is more than just a commitment—it's a full-blooded relationship. And, much like the relationship you have with your spouse, kids, or others you choose to surround yourself with, this

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Small Time Real Estate Investors Team Up For Big Time Profits

Real estate investor Maureen Wiener usually goes it alone when buying, renovating, and reselling homes in northern New Jersey.“It’s about control,"  says Wiener, of Franklin Lakes, NJ, who

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Portland Valentines Spots Perfect For You

Everyone has a different idea of what makes a perfect Valentine's Day. Luckily the Portland metro area has something for everyone.For the couple that wants a dose of romance:For an evening of,

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Home Sellers Are Really Cashing In These Days

Kenishirotie/iStockHome sellers had it good at the end of last year, racking up profits they hadn't seen in more than a decade, a new report finds.In the last quarter of 2017, sellers pocketed an

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Get To Know Portlands Nearby Destinations

If you’re new to the PDX region, it might be nice to have a frame of reference for certain locations in the great PNW. That way you can keep up with your co-workers stories about their weekend

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More Americans Are Living With People Who Are Not Their Family

Alice S. Hall/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty ImagesBlanche Devereaux was ahead of her time.A growing number of adults are living with other adults with whom they are not romantically involved,

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Everything You Need To Know About Portland ADUs

IMAGE: LEO ZAROSINKSIMother-in-law studio. Man shack. Rentable pied-à-terre. Granny flat. Whatever one calls the accessory dwelling unit, the twee bungalettes are blooming across town—wedged

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3 Weird Things You Can Ignore When Home Shopping

Ugly paint colors? Treadmill in the kitchen? Creepy family portraits in every room? Don't let it bug you.In 15 years of real estate, I can honestly say that I’ve seen it all. Toilet seats up in

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3 Reasons Why A Real Estate Agent Is A House Flippers Best Friend

Renovate your concept of flipping a home by teaming up with a real estate agent.Flipping houses isn’t just about visualizing how to change a home; it’s also about being able to actually sell the

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How To Win Over Your Neighbors During A Renovation

Sharing your plans with neighbors in person is an effective way to address any concerns head on.Phase one of any major construction project? Get the neighbors on your side. Here’s how.If you’re

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7 Small Home Flaws That Can Be Big Deals For Buyers

After living in the same home for a while, it's amazing what you can get used to. A creaky floorboard, for instance. A chipped tile that you've been meaning to replace but haven't gotten around to.

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5 Tips To Get The Edge In Selling Your House This Year

If you want to know how to sell a house in 2018, face the facts: It's a new year, and that brings a new breed of home buyers to your front door. Knowing who these buyers are—as well as what they

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8 Surprising Ways Your Neighbors Can Actually Help You Save Money

Nearly 30% of Americans don’t know their neighbor’s first name, according to a 2017 survey by home security company Safe Home. That’s a shame! Especially since being friendly with those on

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6 Home Maintenance Tasks You May Not Even Realize You Have To Do

Home maintenance and ownership go hand in hand, so you're no doubt aware that there's plenty you should be doing (hello, gutter cleaning!). Sorry to lengthen your to-do list, but we thought you

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Millennials And Silent Generation Drive Desire For Walkable Communities

It is no longer just millennials propelling interest in walkable communities. According to a new report from the National Association of Realtors®, members of the silent or greatest generation,

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The 3 Best Reasons To Buy A Home In 2018

Figuring out when to plunge into the real estate market can be quite intimidating—especially when prices are high, choices are limited, and history urges restraint."We’ve seen two or three years

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What Is House Poor

What is "house poor"? This phrase describes home buyers who've purchased property they can't easily afford—and are now paying the price, as it were.“If you can’t spend your income the way you

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Your Handy Winter Checklist Is Here

Ah, January. The time of new beginnings, new resolutions, and, in most of the country, a seemingly endless stretch of cold and gloom. We get it: You just want to hibernate, catch up on;

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What Is Procuring Cause And How It Helps Determine Commission For Real Estate Agents

The procuring cause helps real estate agents and buyers figure out who will receive the commission on a house sale. It typically comes into play when a buyer purchases a house he saw with two

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4 Chilling Revelations You Will Have Moving During The Dead Of Winter

Moving is hard, moving cross-country even harder. Moving cross-country during the dead of winter? That, friends, is a feat I hope you never have to endure. Because I did, and I barely survived.OK,

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These Home Features Are Proven To Pay Off

After all these years of paying down your mortgage, spending thousands on maintenance, and pouring buckets of blood, sweat, and cash into your home, you’re finally ready to move on and sell.

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3 Ways To Prevent Costly Wear And Tear

The winter season brings more foot traffic, which can be risky on a home—holiday parties, family gatherings and even open houses in the winter can bring tears and marks on the floors. How do you

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First Time Homebuyers Suddenly Flood Housing Market

First time homebuyer demand surged to its highest level in 17 years during the third quarter of 2017, according to the First-Time Homebuyer Market Report from Genworth Mortgage Insurance, an

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Portland Holiday Events All Newbies Should Know About

If you are new to Portland this holiday season, you may not know all that we have to offer in the way of events and holiday cheer. Here are a few of our traditions you should definitely know about

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If You Inherit A House And Sell It How Are The Profits Taxed

If you sell your house and make a profit, you must pay capital gains tax—so does the same rule apply when you inherit a house from a deceased relative? The truth is that inheriting property can be

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Buyer And Seller Advisory Regarding Portland Energy Audits

Portland Metropolitan Association of REALTORS® (PMAR) This Advisory summarizes the recently implemented rules for Portland’s Home Energy Score program (hereinafter, “the Program”). This

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How To Sell A House To A Family Member

If you're wondering how to sell a house to a family member, first, a bit of congratulations are in order. You've found a buyer! The most strenuous part of the home-selling process is already over.

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How Long Does It Take To Build A House

How long does it take to build a house? It's a question often posed by people looking to buy an idyllic piece of land so they can construct their dream home from the ground up. If this describes

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The Secret To No Fuss Holiday Decor

Holiday decorating can be as simple as dusting off your flower vases, unrolling a spool of burlap and polishing your silver.Hold your holiday decor horses! Before you purchase gobs of tinsel and

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PDX Places To Find Unique And Creative Gifts For Your Holiday Shopping

So you live in the Portland metro area and the season of holiday shopping is upon us. If you don’t feel like braving the crowded big name stores and chaos of shopping center parking lots, here are

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6 Ho Ho Home Maintenance Tasks You Should Tackle In December

So you've finished the last of those turkey leftovers and just about thrown in the towel on your workout regimen until some undefined time after the first of the year. (We get it— the holiday

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These Real Estate Trends Will Be Game Changers In 2018

We’re almost there: the long-awaited home stretch of 2017. And quite a year it's been! Already, we can’t help imagining what developments next year might bring to the wild world of U.S. real

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The Fastest Way To Save For A House

Once you’ve decided it’s time to buy your own home, saving for that 20% down payment is step one toward doing it. Instead of waiting years, here are six ways to help you save up for that down

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5 Holiday Splurges To Avoid If You Hope To Sell Your Home Next Year

The holidays are officially here—and while  merrymaking and gift shopping are likely top of mind, you may have to keep some of those celebratory urges in check if you're planning to sell your

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What Happens If I Have A Lien On My House

"What happens if I have a lien on my house?" is a question you might face when it comes time to sell your place. Basically, it means that before this transaction can go through, you'll have to deal

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New Home Construction Increases To Meet Rising Demand

But increase could be temporaryThe construction of new homes increased in October to meet the rising homebuyer demand, according to the latest report from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S.

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To Go Thanksgiving Ideas

How do the holidays sneak up on us every year? Whether you are simply too busy to cook, can’t get away to see family, or just need a year off from preparing food, here a few favorite local places

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Is It OK To Real Estate Stalk Your Friends And Family

Ever wonder how much some people paid for a house, but were too shy to ask them outright? Then it might be tempting to delve into real estate stalking—the simple and fun practice where you type in

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What You Need To Know About Buying A Home This Winter

Planning on buying in the off-season? Arm yourself with strategies from the pros.Rainy open houses and icy walkways make shopping for a home in winter less of a thrill than in the busy spring and

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How To Sell A Home With Two Mortgages

If you've tapped the lender well twice and hold two mortgages on one house, you might think selling that house will be a challenge. After all, having two mortgages doesn't mean you owe more on the

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5 Home Design Trends Youll Be Seeing In 2018

Fresh trends spotted at High Point Market Fall 2017: florals, dramatic colors and textures, too!Twice a year, true interior design magic happens when the industry gathers in North Carolina for High

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Why You Should Still Talk To A Lender Even If You Are Not Ready To Buy A Home

If you’re a first-time home buyer, you might think you’re not ready to purchase a house. Perhaps you’re concerned about your job situation, your previous credit history, or your high monthly

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What To Do With That Extra Hour This Weekend

Sleep! If you are getting ready to sell your home, buy a home, or simply gearing up for the holiday season, that extra hour of sleep could be exactly what you need. Proper sleep is a proven way to

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Read This Before Getting A Reverse Mortgage

Changes announced by HUD could change the calculus of whether these loans make sense for certain borrowersSeniors need to get a clearer picture of the pros and cons of getting a reverse mortgage on

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6 Home Selling Negotiation Strategies That Can Backfire

When you're selling your home, you might imagine you hold all the cards. And you do—sort of. But it's easy to become overconfident in a seller's market. If  you don't do a reality check,

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Whos Buying Homes Whos Selling And Whos Not

With soaring rental prices, extremely low mortgage rates, and a stronger economy, it seems that just about everyone wants to buy a home these days. But high home prices are keeping many aspiring

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Local Portland Tea Shops To Warm You Up This Fall

Leaves have changed, the rain has started, the heaters have clicked on- it is officially fall and the season of warm beverages has begun! True, coffee shops are on about every other corner these,

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Should You Find A Home Inspector Or Go With Your Real Estate Agents Recommendation

You've trusted your real estate agent's advice throughout the home-buying process, but should you also rely on her to find a home inspector, too? Your agent likely has a list of thorough and

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9 Ugly Painting Mistakes You Will Come To Regret

To a new homeowner, painting rooms might seem like the ultimate dream. After years of renting white walls that weren't yours to alter even a smidge, you finally get to slather your home in whichever

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Why Fewer New Homes Are On The Horizon Despite The Housing Shortage

In spite of all the house hunters out there clamoring for homes to buy, there won't be a surge in the number of newly constructed abodes hitting the market anytime soon.Builders received fewer

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Should You Go Big With Your First House Or Stick To A Starter Home

For a majority of people, buying your first home is financially daunting. Beyond the paperwork and negotiating, there’s that big mortgage looming. Taking on such a substantial financial

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Upcoming Halloween Events Around Portland To Embrace The Holiday Spirit

Oregon City: Fantasy TrailIf you are in the mood for Halloween lights, decorations, and spooky settings, this is an ideal option for date night or family fun. Open every night between now and

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Top Amenities For Relocating Baby Boomers

Baby boomers say they want to move to a home that has a multicar garage and that’s near their grandchildren, according to the latest Del Webb Baby Boomer Survey, sponsored by national home builder

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Do Home Seekers Need To Sign A Contract To Tour Homes

It's human nature for folks to want to sneak a peek at their neighbor's open house—even if they're not truly home seekers looking to buy. Trust us, stopping by to grab a cookie and gawk is

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How To Use Music To Sell Your Home

Tom Hignite, owner of Miracle HomeBuilders in suburban Milwaukee, is a firm believer in the power of music—so much that he cranks up the volume at open houses and tours.But not too loud. And it

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Can Halloween Help You Sell Your House

Halloween isn't just an opportunity to gorge on all things frightful or filled with sugar. It's also a chance for home sellers to scare up a buyer!Because these days, home sellers need as much

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How Hard Is It To Add A Bathroom

“I love sharing a bathroom with my whole family,” said no homeowner ever. Learn how to add a bathroom and keep the peace.f your home was built before 1970, you likely have one bathroom for your

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What Is A Transaction Fee And Who Pays It

Of the many fees associated with buying a house, one that's often overlooked is the transaction fee. While it's not as pricey as the commission, the transaction fee is a notable chunk of change that

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How To Get A Mortgage With No Credit

Trying to buy a home with bad credit is hard. But what about trying to buy a home with no credit at all?There's a name for these people: "credit invisibles." It means they don't have a credit report

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The Millennial Mortgage Problem Is Down Payments And Expensive Cities

If you’re a millennial who’d like to buy a house before Beyoncé’s twins graduate from high school, then listen up.The folks at Apartment List recently crunched the numbers surrounding our

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How To Use Halloween To Settle Into Your New Family Home

If you moved right at the end of summer, you are probably just now starting to catch your breath. Between inspections, closing costs, moving boxes, address changes, and school starting, how does one

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7 Red Flags That The Neighbors Could Drive You Insane

Nothing can turn the American dream of owning a home into a nightmare like bad neighbors. They might keep you up with raging late-night parties, or call the cops with a noise complaint when all you

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7 Home Maintenance Tasks You Should Tackle In October

Ah, October. Temperatures are dropping, the days are growing shorter, and the pumpkin spice latte is, in a word, inescapable. But before you go hog wild with the Halloween decorations and settle in

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If You Find Your Own Buyer Will Your Real Estate Agent Take Less Commission

Through some twist of fate, maybe you've found your own buyer without the help of your real estate agent. And now you finally have an offer in hand from a friend of a friend (of a friend?).,

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When Does A Real Estate Contract Become Legal And Binding

After a seller accepts a buyer's offer to purchase a property, it's time to make it official, in the form of a real estate contract. This document is one of the most important steps in the home

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Who Draws Up The Purchase Agreement For A Home That Is For Sale By Owner

The seller's agent is typically the person who draws up a purchase agreement, but what happens if the home is for sale by owner (FSBO) and the seller isn't represented by a real estate agent at all?

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Why Its A Better Time For Buyers On A Budget To Purchase A Home

Those thinking about buying a home have probably heard all the tales of woe from other buyers out there: Sticker shock, getting outbid on the home of their dreams, or not being able to find a

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Why The Equifax Breach Might Make It Harder To Buy A Home And What You Can Do

For years, security experts have been fearing "The Big One." Not terrorist incidents, bombs, or hurricanes—their warnings have been centered on cyberattacks. And now, one of the largest and

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5 Hidden Moving Expenses That Could Jack Up Your Final Bill

Moving expenses can quickly spiral if you don't watch out. And given that moving is already expensive ($1,170 for an in-state move on average, $5,630 for farther distances), it really pays to learn

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How To Transition A Babys Bedroom Into A BigKid Room Effortlessly

Making way for your baby big girl’s or boy’s bed means it’s time for the crib to go (sob). And now that your baby’s older, the nursery could use an update, too. But transitioning to an older

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5 Things Real Estate Agents Wish You Knew About Buying A House

Buying a house isn't like buying a Slim Jim at the corner bodega. Infinitely more money, thought, and prep work go into acquiring real estate—and given that it's not a purchase you make often, it

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The Skills You Need For That Sweat Equity Fixer You Plan To Reno

Welcome to your new fixer-upper.  Whether it’s your first home or first investment property, you likely have your work cut out for you. Here are some of the skillsets that are best to have

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6 Embarrassing Mistakes To Avoid When Buying Outdoor Furniture

allenmorrisphoto/iStockThe vestiges of summer are fast slipping away, along with all those lazy afternoons and evenings spent lounging outside. But before you hermetically seal yourself indoors for

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What To Pay Attention To Before Putting On Offer On That Fixer Upper

Fixer-uppers can be enticing for several reasons: lower sales price, potential for profitable resale, opportunity to remodel the house into your dream home, etc. However, taking on a fixer rarely

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Do You Need A PreApproval Letter To Tour A Home

You know you need to get your ducks in a row before looking at homes, but does that include securing a pre-approval letter? The truth is, getting pre-approved can actually improve your chances of

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6 Home Renovations That Pamper Pets Beyond Compare

You know your pets are genuine members of the family when you start to think about renovating your house specifically to accommodate their needs. Of course you want your cat, dog, or any critter

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7 Home Maintenance Tasks You Should Tackle In September

For most of the country, September signals the end of summer's dog days and a return to fuzzy sweaters, chilly evenings, and, of course, pumpkin spice everything (this is America, after all).But

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6 Questions FirstTime Home Buyers Never Ask Themselves But Really Really Should

There's a certain point in the lifecycle of renting where you say to yourself: I just can't do this anymore. Maybe it's the upstairs neighbors, who relentlessly stomp dance moves across their

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Is A Mortgage PreApproval Letter Necessary To Make An Offer On A House

Is a mortgage pre-approval letter necessary to make an offer on a house? The short answer is no. However, if you want your offer to be taken seriously and to stand out from any competing bids, this

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CFPB Warns About Dangers Of Taking Out A Reverse Mortgage To Delay Social Security

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a warning to seniors this week, cautioning them that taking out a reverse mortgage in order to delay claiming Social Security benefits could be a

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The Living Room Moves Upstairs

One couple calls their second-floor living room the “healing chambers.” Another homeowner calls it the “feasting room.” Others refer to “pajama lounges.”Regardless of the name,,

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How To Stay Relaxed Through The Home Buying Process

Whether a first time buyer or a seasoned investor, buying a home can be a hectic and stressful time, especially in a strong seller’s market. See these tips for a little extra help on how to

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The 5 Biggest Mistakes Veteran And Military Home Buyers Make

Having a place to call your own—whether you’re going to be there for four years or forever—is an essential part of the American dream. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers plenty of

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8 Dumb Reasons People Cant Buy A Home

Buying a home—especially if it’s your first—can be a lot like losing weight in the sense that people end up doing, well, some pretty dumb stuff in the process. But while desperate dieters

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Follow Along As We Search For Portlands Best Old Fashioned Milkshakes

Follow along as we drink through Portland’s old-fashioned milkshakes in search of our favorites. For this story, that means milkshakes spun with hand-scooped ice cream (or soft serve) in a silver

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The Most Popular Interior Design Styles In Each State

JoybirdWhen you think of what's hot in interior design right now, do your dad's wingback chairs and grandma's ornate chandeliers come to mind? Well, maybe they should. A new study by Joybird, a

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Should I Buy A FixerUpper

aabsys/iStock"Should I buy a fixer-upper?" If this thought has crossed your mind, we don't blame you. Many home buyers fantasize about purchasing a run-down shack and transforming it into a palace

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How To Stay Sane Through The Home Selling Process

Even it a healthy seller’s market, selling one’s home can be a stressful time. There’s a great deal to coordinate and prepare for, both emotionally and logistically, and going into such an

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Five Conventional Mortgage Requirements To Consider When Buying A Home

A conventional mortgage is one underwritten by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, which means that they create the rules and regulations associated with these products. Most conventional loans require

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Whats The Cost Of A Home Appraisal

If you need a mortgage to buy a home, your lender will require a home appraisal—where a professional estimates the value of your place to make sure it's at least enough to cover the mortgage.

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The Real Factors That Boost Your Homes Bottom Line

iStockThe galloping real estate market is a scary and exhilarating thing.On the one hand, as home prices soar, how on earth will you ever buy one? On the other, assuming you do pull off the biggest

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8 Things You Need To Do To Prepare For The Total Solar Eclipse

Whether you’re staying at home or traveling to the path of totality, the total solar eclipse calls for some advance planning and preparation. As an estimated 1 million people crowd into a narrow

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What To Do When Your Market Has Low Or No Inventory

When homes get multiple offers just hours after being listed, you know you’re in a challenging market. Here’s how you can stay competitive.It's getting harder to find starter homes for sale. But

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Selling Your Home Or Buying A New One First

Selling a home is stressful. Buying a home is stressful. Doing both? There should be a new word for that.But somehow people do it, every day in every part of the country and in every market

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What You Should Know About Earnest Money

aydinmutlu/iStockThe earnest money deposit is an important part of the home buying process. It tells the seller you're a committed buyer, and it helps fund your down payment.Without earnest money,

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What Are The Different Types Of Financing For A Home

If home financing is new to you, you might have a few questions. Why are there so many different kinds? Why are some not always accepted by the sellers? Who qualifies for what types of financing?

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What Is Underwriting

What is underwriting? You hear it all the time when it comes to the home loan process: underwriting. It’s a process that seems to takes forever, and most people that are in the middle of one are

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What Does It Mean If Freddie Mac Owns My Mortgage

To the uninitiated, "Freddie Mac" might sound like a cartoon rodent or perhaps a character in a gangster musical -- neither of whom you would probably want to own your mortgage. In reality, Freddie

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What Is Private Mortgage Insurance

Private mortgage insurance, or PMI: Just the basicsIf your down payment on a home is less than 20%, you will have to pay for mortgage insurance, [unless you’re qualified for a VA loan.]What is PMI

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7 Crucial Facts About FHA Loans

Less rigorous lending standards and lower down-payment requirements make FHA loans popular with mortgage borrowers.What is an FHA loan?An FHA loan is a mortgage insured by the Federal Housing

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What You Need To Know About Home Appraisals

They are even more complicated than they used to be.You can't get money from a credible financial institution without an appraisal, so, they're pretty important.When you think about buying a house,

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5 Things To Know About Getting A VA Loan

Demand has been sizzling for Veterans Affairs mortgages, better known as VA loans. These mortgages do not always require a down payment and are available to military veterans and active military

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27 Things You Should Know Before Moving To Portland

Here are a few things that you should know before moving to Portland; told by locals themselves.If you’re thinking about moving to Portland, you’re probably aware of the amount of biking done

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7 Things You Didnt Know About Floating Homes And Houseboats

From battening down the hatches for a storm to hiring a diver for your home inspection, you're likely in for a few surprises.While a huge part of “Sleepless in Seattle’s” appeal could be

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7 Signs A Home Seller Is Ready To Bargain

Learn how you can spot the clues that could lead to a lower purchase price, more inclusions, and other perks.   As a buyer, any piece of insider information you pick up can provide a

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Top Home Design Trends For 2017

Check out four hot looks for next year (plus the three trends that are over). Zillow Digs announced the top home design trends for 2017, along with the three soon-to-be forgotten fads from.

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5 Trends In New Home Construction

What's on the runway for home-building fashions? Experts predict 5 big "ins." In the world of apparel fashion, trends go in and out in a matter of months. For interior design, trends may change

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More Americans Are Now Paying Their Mortgage Often And On Time

Foreclosure rate continues to fall Mortgage delinquency rates, including loans in serious delinquency and even foreclosure inventory, fell at the start of 2017, according to the latest monthly

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How Do People Get Enough Money For A Down Payment

You can start with pennies in a jar, but you’ll probably need to embrace some different strategies if you want to reach your down payment savings goal. Don’t be intimidated by the idea of

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Get To Know Garden Structures

Can you tell an arch from an arbor, from a trellis, from a pergola?   Trellises, arches, arbors, and pergolas: These four garden structures are often confused.After all, each can be

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6 Major Mistakes Buyers Make In A Sellers Market

Preparation is key to successfully buying a house in a hot market.When you’re looking for a home in a seller’s market, you need a plan in place to avoid making mistakes. The real estate

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Tips To Buy A Home In Your 20s 30s And 40s

Your housing needs will probably change as you age. Embrace the differences with this targeted advice. What you need as a 20-something homebuyer doesn't always match up when you're in your 30s

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3 Steps To Prepare Your House To Sell

Looking to woo and win potential buyers? The little things make all the difference. Planning to sell your house this year? Don’t be overwhelmed by all the details involved in preparing it to

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Is Now A Good Time To Buy A Home

Are you interested in buying a new home but aren’t sure whether it’s a good time? The market is affected by many factors outside your control, including fluctuating interest rates and housing

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Helping Homeowners Accept The Realities Of Downsizing

Downsizing can be difficult for clients to accept. Their memories and belongings may be unable to fit into a smaller home. Many are unsure how to proceed and need your help. As their real estate

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4 Tips To Boost Interest In Your Home Listings

If a property isn’t garnering interest, there is a problem. Very rarely is this a result of uninterested buyers. Instead, a lack of interest in a property is often the result of a poorly priced

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The Ins And Outs Of Showing Property

Whether it's a last-minute private visit or an open house for anyone who stops by, homes need to be seen to sell. Showing a property is essential to the home-selling process. Every market works

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The Homes Appraisal Value Is Less Than My Offer

A low appraisal can happen for any number of reasons, but it doesn’t have to be a deal breaker. It’s a nightmare situation: You’ve spent months searching for your dream house, finally get

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How To Say Goodbye To A Family Home

Whether you are moving your family to a new home or your children have since grown up and moved out, there are no doubt a great deal of memories that made your house home for so many years. These

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What Is A Mansion

The neighbor's house might not qualify...What do you think of when you hear the word “mansion”? Do visions of huge manor houses with acres of lush green lawn, sweeping staircases, and grand

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Everything You Need To Know About Cooling Your Home

Chilling out this summer will be a breeze with these tips for getting the most out of your air conditioner and fans.Summer may be lazy and hazy, but in many areas of the country, it’s also a time

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How To Sell Your House Faster Than Your Neighbors

Focus on these tips to help buyers choose your house instead of your neighbor’s!Airto Zamorano’s real estate game plan was solid: do a serious deep cleaning of his home every single time he had

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Is Replacing Carpet With Hardwood Floors Always Worth It

Thinking about replacing your floors? Especially if you have carpet, the choice seems clear: Hardwood floors are preferred by home buyers and renters across the United States.But consider carefully

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Why Are Millennials Moving To Portland

Why are millennials suddenly moving to Portland? See what is driving its mass migration and maybe you’ll be convinced to move there too.Portland is experiencing growing pains, but its eccentric

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How To Handle Long Distance House Hunting Like A Champ

When you've got to buy a house from across the country, start with a winning strategy.Searching for a house locally is not without its difficulties. Add hundreds or even thousands of miles to

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The Most Popular Appliances Finishes And Flooring For A Kitchen Remodel

A lack of homes on the market coupled with soaring real estate prices is leading more homeowners to make the most of their current abodes, particularly the kitchens. And why not? It's often

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4 Numbers That Determine Your Buying Power

If you're serious about buying a home, understanding your finances is a crucial first step.When deciding to purchase a home, the list of things to consider can be daunting. While you might be

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These Cities Are The 10 Biggest Comeback Stories In US Real Estate

Everyone loves a great comeback story.And there are plenty to go around. Rocky. Steve Jobs. The Chicago Cubs. Jesus. Lil Bub (Google her!). And, with apologies to Jesus, perhaps the most impressive

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5 Mistakes To Avoid When Writing An Offer

In competitive housing markets across the country, making an offer that sticks has become increasingly difficult. Ensure your client doesn’t make the process even tougher by succumbing to one of

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What You Need To Know About Looking For A Home In Portlands Red Hot Market

When Caitlin and Charles Vestal began looking to buy a home in January, the search quickly felt like a full-time job."It has been an insane process," Caitlin Vestal said. "I wasn't working during

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Pros And Cons Of Buying During Real Estates Hottest Season

Data suggest spring is the best time to buy a home, but buying during peak season has its disadvantages.Whether it’s the warmer weather, the pending summer break from school, or simply a seasonal

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What You Need To Know About Buying A Home This Spring

Low inventory in many markets combined with higher prices and rising interest rates can make buying a home challenging, but not impossible.Blooming flowers and warmer temperatures don’t just mark

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Seven Less Common Things To Know When Moving To Portland

With Portland hitting the top of several Moving Destination reports, out-of-staters are sure to hear several of the same tips: don’t try to fill your own tank of gas, be prepared for rain, no

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How To Approach A Short Sale

With Portland’s hot housing market in full swing, the homes listed as short sales can appear mighty enticing with their low listing prices and light competition. Before you tell your realtor to

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Heres How Brokers Can Reach Millennials

Younger generation needs to know why brokers are the best optionMillennials are expected to make up nearly one-third of the buyer pool in 2017, which should be another solid year for purchases.

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Tesla Releases Details Of Its Solar Roof Tiles

[It’s] cheaper than regular roof with ‘infinity warranty’ and 30 yrs of solar powerTesla released today all the information to order its new solar roof tiles products – starting with the

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How To Choose The Right Paint Colors When Selling Your Home

One of the simplest ways to update a space is with a can of paint. But deciding on a paint color can drive anyone mad. There are so many choices out there today – cobalt blue, coral,

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10 Ways To Find Out About A Neighborhood Without Being There

"So what's the neighborhood really like?" is the ubiquitous refrain among home buyers shopping in areas they're unfamiliar with. And though your real estate agent can fill lots of the big-picture

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9 Home Buying Myths You Need To Stop Believing Immediately

So you think you’re finally ready to make the jump from renter to homeowner? Awesome! In this exciting but admittedly scary time, you might be inclined to turn to friends and family for advice

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The Future Of Portlands Skyline Is Made Of Wood

The next cutting-edge technology to fuel our building boom just may grow on trees.High-rise construction sites don’t usually smell particularly good. But this winter, at the nearly finished

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How To Tell If Youll Love A New Neighborhood

Ask yourself these five questions when choosing a home base.When on the hunt for your brand new digs, you don’t necessarily want to stick to familiar territory. Buying a new home is a big

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Dining Hotspots Worth Checking Out Around Portland

Looking for somewhere new to eat out? Aim for any one of these areas and explore the cluster of restaurants each has to offer. Multnomah VillageFeel like a small town stroll? Multnomah has fantastic

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Does It Really Matter What Your Neighbors Home Sold For

Whether you're buying or selling, make sure you look beyond the data to get the big picture on home values.After researching the sale prices of his neighbors’ recent home sales, Steve Rennie

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Can Portland Build Its Way Out Of A Housing Crunch

It's a common complaint about Portland's painful housing crunch: Why are builders catering mostly to high-end buyers?New homes, on average, command higher prices than 80 percent of the homes on the

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Why You Need To Get Serious About Going Solar

They're more affordable than you think, and the benefits make them a bright idea.The decision to add solar panels to your home can seem daunting. The unknowns and assumptions of costs and

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6 Things You Should Never Say When Youre Selling Your Home

You know that expression about loose lips sinking ships? It holds true for selling your home as well. Sure, there are some things you have to disclose to buyers—such as if

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Use This Spring CleanUp Guide To Enhance Your Homes Curb Appeal

Spring has sprung, which means it’s the perfect time to get the outside of your home in top shape before the summer months. A little sprucing can go a long way with enhancing your home’s curb

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15 Things To Do In Your New Neighborhood

These tips will help you find your place within your community — and make it feel even more like home.After the hard work of finding and moving into the perfect home, you’re finally ready for

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7 Warning Signs Youre Not Ready To Buy

Owning a home can be a smart financial move, but is it right for you, right now?It’s happening all across America right now: Hordes of renters, innocently perusing their social media accounts, are

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Is It Smart To Buy A Home With Less Than 20 Percent Down Payment

Here are some items to consider before taking on one of the new, low-down-payment loans on the market.There’s a reason most people don’t purchase a home on a whim. From appraisals and

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5 Ways Youll Spend Money On Your New Construction Home After Closing

Save some room in your budget for expenses after move-in.By the time you get the keys to your new construction home, you might feel stretched thin in the finance department. From earnest money

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8 Neighborhood Features That Increase Your Home Value

Being able to walk to the local pub could enhance your social life — and the value of your home.The neighborhood amenities you enjoy could also boost the value of your home.It’s a good bet that

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