July 28th, 2015

It’s your move: Keep it light

Posted by at 5:31 pm

  When doing a major move, there’s no pride in trying to do too much, and breaking your stuff, and/or yourself. No matter what you’re moving, it’s probably best to hire moving professionals. They are skilled and experienced, and are much less likely than you to damage large or precious items when moving stuff from one home to another. True, they are probably going to cost a little more than the dinner and a six-pack you were going to pay your friends to help. But a properly licensed and insured moving company guarantees replacement or repair if an item – or part of one of the houses – is damaged. That being said – not everyone is going to do this. For those intrepid do-it-yourselfers who pride themselves on saving money in the face of risk – here are some...
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July 24th, 2015

Summer Survival tips close to home

Posted by at 5:57 pm

  People love to travel during the summer, but they also spend a lot more time outdoors around the home. Domestic dangers abound in the summertime. Don’t become a statistic. Follow these simple tips to mitigate summertime danger: The skin you’re in: It’s important to prevent sunburns by wearing a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. If you are the pasty type, you already know how painful it is to deal with the burning and itching, covering up and avoiding the sun the rest of the summer. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside, and re-apply after swimming or sweating. Even if it says it’s waterproof, it probably isn’t. But even if you’re the bronze tanning type, you should plan to wear sunscreen any time you spend more than 15 minutes in the sun. Skin cancer can be...
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Does Dodd-Frank hurt housing?

Posted by at 4:05 pm

  After the Great Recession, the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act was passed in an attempt to rein in many abusive aspects of the financial industry. Along with thousands of pages of regulations, Dodd-Frank created the watchdog Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which celebrates its fourth anniversary this month. Along with enforcing laws that ban discrimination and other unfair consumer treatment, the CFPB aims to weed out predatory and abusive lending, false advertisement and fraud. The CFPB works with regulators to stop transactions that hurt consumers, including risky lending. It offers a wide variety of assistance programs and informational websites for consumers, has created a complaint-filing mechanism, and investigates and fines violators. The CFPB says 38 percent of its complaints are about mortgages. Not all lenders agree the CFPB is beneficial to consumers. And many believe its “plain English” online tutorials for consumers...
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July 9th, 2015

Relax with the best in “reel” estate

Posted by at 9:57 pm

  With the summer movie season upon us, here’s a comprehensive, though biased, list of the best housing and real estate-related movies ever across several genres. If nothing else, it should start a debate over which films belong on the list, which don’t and what other movies should be in their place. Enjoy. Funniest: There’s a lot of competition here, but the winner has to be the slapstick The Money Pit (1986), a sight-gag a minute movie about a young couple who get an unbelievable deal on a gigantic dream home. It just needs a “little work.” They pull out all the stops to get the money for the seemingly flawless fixer-upper. Played by Tom Hanks in one of his first, and best, roles, and Shelly Long, in one of her only movie roles, the couple get a lesson in...
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July 1st, 2015

Five easy ways to afford more house

Posted by at 4:06 pm

  Many people put some pretty tough restrictions on their home-buying budget, and end up living in a place that doesn’t make them entirely happy. While some homebuyers don’t really see home as anywhere but a place to put the beds and TV, for others, the house makes a huge difference in how they feel about your life, their work and family – virtually everything. Don’t think you can afford a little more? Can you afford not to spend a little more? Maybe you’re not making your money work hard enough for you. The difference in monthly payments between a $200,000 and $250,000 house is about $238 a month. That’s the same as a $50,000 difference in price between any two houses. Double that to $477 a month if you want to go up $100,000. Where can you reasonably cut...
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