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10 Ways to Save On a Kitchen Remodel

A kitchen remodel is among the most popular renovation projects for homeowners, but it can quickly become the most expensive. According to HomeAdvisor, the average kitchen remodel costs $25,656, or $1... Continue Reading »

6 Mortgage Tips for Single Homebuyers With Children

If you’re a single parent, it’s arguably more challenging to buy a home than for those in a partnership with dual incomes. Yet it’s easy to see why so many single parents are eager to purchase a... Continue Reading »

How To Deal With Unsolicited Offers

If you’re one of those lucky people who own a home in a “hot” area, it’s a pretty sweet feeling. You made a good real estate call. If you decide to sell, all signs point to it being an easy an... Continue Reading »

Homebuying and Mortgage Guide for Singles

Many people might picture homeownership as an event that happens only after two people get married and start a financial partnership. Some mortgages are still structured to reflect that idea. But nowa... Continue Reading »

Can a Buyer Inspect a Home Without a Seller’s Permission?

Here’s the scenario: Your house is on the market and you have interested buyers, but they are concerned about the roof. Maybe your home has a bit of damage from the last storm, but it’s nothing ma... Continue Reading »

Where to Stash Your Down Payment If You Didn’t Buy a House This Year

With home prices climbing to a record, this year’s housing boom left some hopeful buyers frustrated, discouraged and stuck with a big lump sum of cash. Home buyers typically save between 5% and 2... Continue Reading »

How To Avoid Renovation Regret

Confession: All my life, I’ve wanted a chaise lounge. Chalk it up to Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda canoodling on one in “The Lady Eve.” A chaise always seemed like a highly comfortable perch ... Continue Reading »

Here’s Why You Still Need An Agent Even If You Found A Buyer

Let’s say you’re selling your house. And before you even get a chance to snap listing photos and put it on the market, a buyer comes along. Perhaps the buyer makes you an offer you just can’t re... Continue Reading »

Pay Off Your Mortgage or Save for Your Kid’s College

Purchasing a home and paying for a child’s college education are some of the biggest expenses parents will face. So if you come into some extra cash, such as an inheritance or major bonus at work, y... Continue Reading »

6 Home-Selling Hopes and Dreams That Can Easily Turn Delusional Today

As a real estate agent in upstate New York, I can say with confidence that home sellers are in a great mood these days. And who can blame them? In this seller’s market where homes go fast and for to... Continue Reading »

How Much Is Enough for a Down Payment?

Most would-be homebuyers start their journey by gathering a down payment. This money is crucial to snagging a mortgage and getting that much closer to homeownership. But when you’re shelling out ... Continue Reading »

How Much Does a Home Inspection Cost?

How much does a home inspection cost? According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, a typical home inspection cost might range from $300 to $500. In most cases, it’s well worth ... Continue Reading »

What to Know About Buying a House Under an LLC

If you own your own business, chances are you have a limited liability company (LLC) or, at the very least, you know what that is. Business owners may choose to buy a home using an LLC or under their ... Continue Reading »

7 Credit-Building Myths First-Time Homebuyers May Hear (and Believe) Today

People love to dole out unsolicited advice. Some of it is actually useful. Other tips you hear, though, may do more harm than good—particularly when it comes to your credit score. Establishing cr... Continue Reading »

Cash-out Refis are in High Demand as Equity Levels Skyrocket

Record home price appreciation in recent years has pushed tappable home equity to new heights. According to a report published by data vendor Black Knight this week, the third quarter of 2021 saw a... Continue Reading »

What Fixes Are Mandatory After a Home Inspection?

If you’re selling your home, you might wonder if there are common repairs needed after a home inspection. Most buyers, after all, won’t commit to purchasing a place until there’s been a thorough... Continue Reading »

3 Ways to Extend Your Outdoor Living Season

Light the Deck or Patio The sun sets sooner on your outdoor living space in the fall, but that shouldn’t limit the hours you use your deck or patio. Adding low-voltage or solar outdoor lighting fix... Continue Reading »

Should You Buy a House With Cash?

In today's low-inventory housing market, homebuyers are looking for any way to get a leg up on the competition when putting in an offer on their desired home. If you have the means, an all-cash off... Continue Reading »

4 Factors (Other Than Money) for a Seller to Consider

Are you selling your home and reviewing several offers? Congratulations! You’re well on your way to getting as much as possible out of what is likely your largest asset. But when it comes to pick... Continue Reading »

The Life-Altering Upsides of Living in a Too Small House

There’s nothing special about our home in Provo, UT. Built in 1943 amid many blocks of similar-looking World War II cottages, the floor plan spans a mere 814 square feet, with two bedrooms, one bath... Continue Reading »

What Is a Rent-Back Agreement?

If you’re buying a new home while selling the one you’re currently living in, you’ll definitely be glad to know what a rent-back agreement is. As you might imagine, this double transaction ca... Continue Reading »

What Is a Tax Sale Property and How Do Tax Sales Work?

Normally when you buy a house, you don’t want a home with any outstanding liens against it (that’s also why you pay for a title company). But what happens to those houses with outstanding taxes? ... Continue Reading »

8 Tips To Protect Yourself When Showing Your Home

You probably don’t let strangers wander through your house checking out bedrooms and opening refrigerator doors on a random Tuesday, right? Yet when you decide to sell your home, letting outsiders i... Continue Reading »

Thinking of Converting Your Garage Into Living Space? Read This First

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-car... Continue Reading »

Where Have All the HELOCs Gone

Brenda Schmerl was eager to renovate her bathroom—and, after learning her upgrades would cost around $16,000, had assumed she would finance her project with a home equity line of credit, or HELOC. ... Continue Reading »

Sharing a Home and Mortgage With Family Members? Here’s How To Not Get Burned

Not sure you can buy a home on your own? Or handle a monthly mortgage payment? Here’s an intriguing—if somewhat tricky—option: You could buy a property with a family member (or three). Famili... Continue Reading »

5 Supply Chain Shortages Homeowners Need To Prepare For Now

As the crisp air settles in, you might be planning a fall renovation. Maybe you’ll finally replace that horribly lumpy sofa or get around to painting your 1970s bathroom a warm rose instead of avoca... Continue Reading »

FHFA To Make Desktop Appraisals Permanent

Desktop appraisals, a temporary flexibility implemented in March 2020 to keep the mortgage industry afloat amid lockdowns and social distancing, will become permanent, the Federal Housing Finance Agen... Continue Reading »

Mass Evictions Didn’t Result After U.S. Ban Ended, Despite Fears

When the federal moratorium on evictions ended in August, many feared that hundreds of thousands of tenants would soon be out on the streets. More than six weeks later, that hasn’t happened. Inst... Continue Reading »

There’s no sign of the typical fall slowdown in home buying

One-third of homes that went under contract had an accepted offer within one week of hitting the market, a new report from Redfin found. This is up from 30% during the same period a year prior and 2.2... Continue Reading »

Does My Real Estate Agent Get Paid If I Don’t Buy a House?

If you’re a first-time homebuyer (or a longtime homeowner) out there searching for your new home, you may spend quite a lot of time touring houses with your real estate agent. But what happens if... Continue Reading »

Mortgage rates and home prices will rise in ’22

Economists at Fannie Mae expect an increase in mortgage rates and home prices in 2022 due to higher inflation, a tightening of monetary policy, and low home inventory. Fannie Mae in its October eco... Continue Reading »

Homebuilders Are Growing Concerned About Affordability

Homebuilder confidence continued to rise in October despite increasing affordability issues due to rising material prices and ongoing shortages, according to the latest National Association of Home Bu... Continue Reading »

How to Kick Someone Out of Your House: Evicting a Family Member With No Lease

Thinking about evicting a family member with no lease? If you’re feeling more than a bit guilty over the prospect—well, don’t be so hard on yourself: You have plenty of company on this one. M... Continue Reading »

Who Draws Up the Contract in a For Sale By Owner Listing?

Curious about the paperwork for selling a house without a Realtor? Well, the seller’s agent is typically the person who draws up a real estate purchase agreement. So what happens if the home is for ... Continue Reading »

How Long Can A House Be Pending?

If you’re in the process of buying a home, there’s no doubt you’ve seen the term “Sale Pending” or “Pending Offer” on more than a few real estate listings—perhaps even on the very home... Continue Reading »

When Is a Home Seller Paid—and How? The Steps of a Real Estate Transaction

Congrats! You just sold your home in a week for thousands of dollars over the asking price. You may be eyeing that sell price with wide eyes, amazed that a large amount of money will soon be in your b... Continue Reading »

How to Check for a Lien 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 ... Continue Reading »

Home equity won’t be enough to prevent foreclosure for some

Despite record-high home prices, home equity may not save some borrowers in forbearance from foreclosure, according to a Black Knight’s report published Monday. Since 2010, around 10% of borrowers w... Continue Reading »

6 Tasks That Every Smart Homeowner Does in October

The temps are starting to drop; the smell of wood smoke is in the air. Temps are more chilly than warm. That's when veteran homeowners know it's time to do these six things if they want to avoid gr... Continue Reading »

5 Home Organization Rules Families Need Now for a Smooth Return to School

Fall means crisp weather, pumpkin-spiced everything, and school and work officially back in session. Since many parents and children spent much of the past 18 months learning and working from home, ex... Continue Reading »

Forbearance rate finally hits pre-pandemic levels

Servicers’ forbearance portfolio volume dropped last week to a level below 3.00% for the first time in 18 months. The total number of loans in forbearance decreased by four basis points to 2.96% as ... Continue Reading »

Why fall is a great time to plant in Oregon gardens

Come spring, excited gardeners drive to nurseries, load up their cars and go home to plant. That’s tradition. But fall planting also ranks high as a time to put plants in the ground. Nurseries ma... Continue Reading »

Fannie Mae cuts origination forecast for 2022

Limited inventory, supply chain disruptions and concerns about inflation have led economists at Fannie Mae to lower their mortgage origination forecasts for the remainder of this year and into 2022. ... Continue Reading »

How Long Does a Home Seller Have To Respond To An Offer?

When you make an offer on a house, you might be wondering: How long does it take a home seller to respond to your offer? There’s nothing worse than sitting around waiting—especially when you’... Continue Reading »

Forbearance numbers fall as borrower exits remain high

Servicers’ forbearance portfolio volume fell once again last week, as exits remained elevated compared to requests or re-entries. The total number of loans in forbearance dropped by eight basis poin... Continue Reading »

How Much Does It Cost To Build a House—And Is It Cheaper To Buy or Build?

How much does it cost to build a house? The median price of constructing a single-family home is $296,652. That’s for an average-sized house of 2,594 square feet, which boils down to $115 per square... Continue Reading »

Can a Car Loan Prevent You From Getting a Mortgage?

You probably never thought that purchasing a new car could impair your ability to get a mortgage for a home. It’s one of several moves that you should consider carefully before applying for a big lo... Continue Reading »

7 Promising Signs the Home You’re Buying Will Have Good Resale Value

While it might seem premature to think about selling a home before you even buy it, it’s important to remember that a house is an investment. And in an ideal world, investments make money—not lose... Continue Reading »

What Is the Average Price Per Square Foot for a Home—and Why Does It Matter?

If you’re hoping to buy a house, the very first dollar figure you’ll want to know is the home’s price, of course. But a close second is its cost for each square foot—and the average cost for e... Continue Reading »

The Hidden Costs Many First-Time Homebuyers Have Never Heard Of

Many of today’s homebuyers are suffering from sticker shock—and not just over astronomical home prices. Nearly half of homeowners, 44%, report they weren’t aware of the costs associated with ... Continue Reading »

US Average Mortgage Rates Rise Slightly

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term mortgage rates were marginally higher this week as the recovering economy appeared stalled against the backdrop of a wave of new delta variant coronavirus cases. ... Continue Reading »

4 Things People Say About Selling a Home Today That Just Aren’t True

You’ve heard the stories: Maybe your neighbors sold their fixer-upper as is for $100,000 over asking price. Or your friends were deluged with crazed homebuyers engaged in a bidding war within 24 hou... Continue Reading »

Ah, September. The weather is changing, and we're getting back to our normal, post-summer routines. It's also a great time to give the house a little extra love and maintenance. Stain the Deck He... Continue Reading »

US Home Prices Rise for Third Straight Month—With 6 Cities Leading the Hot Housing Market

The numbers: Home prices continued to grow at a record pace in June, according to a leading barometer. The latest edition of the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index showed that home pri... Continue Reading »

6 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Home

Homeownership isn’t for everyone. You may be at a point in your life where it simply doesn’t make sense to invest in a piece of real estate. Certainly, there are many credible reasons to resist th... Continue Reading »

What Is Dual Agency?

In a hot seller's market, a homebuyer will try just about anything to get a leg up on the competition and – when possible – strike a deal in their favor. Talk of escalation clauses, appraisal cont... Continue Reading »

Could Identity Theft Keep You From Buying a House?

Imagine you’ve finally found your dream home and have put in an offer, and you’re declined—not due to anything you’ve done wrong, but because someone’s stolen your identity. Sound far-fet... Continue Reading »

5 Ways Real Estate Listings Can Spark Painting Ideas

If you love browsing real estate listings, you’re not alone. “I’m always looking at real estate listings—even now, almost a year past closing,” says Kathleen Luttschyn, a design writer who r... Continue Reading »

7 Steps to Building an Above-Ground Swimming Pool

A significant amount of time and money is required to turn a backyard into a swimming-pool oasis. As an alternative, some homeowners may opt for a less expensive above-ground swimming pool instead of ... Continue Reading »

What is a Duplex?

You like the idea of owning a home, but you feel you may be missing out on an opportunity to earn money at the same time. If only there were a way to live on property you own but also take on renters ... Continue Reading »

Jumbo mortgages were easier to get in July

Mortgage credit availability increased marginally in July following a big downturn in June, according to a report released by the Mortgage Bankers Association on Thursday. The MBA Mortgage Credit A... Continue Reading »

Mortgage rates rise to 2.87% after jobs report

The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 2.87% for the week ending in August 12, according to mortgage rates data released Thursday by Freddie Mac‘s PMMS. The increase follows six consecut... Continue Reading »

7 Things All First-Time Homeowners Get Wrong—and How To Avoid Those Big Mistakes

Like most major milestones in life, becoming a first-time homeowner comes with quite a few learning curves. Even after you close on the house and it becomes officially yours, there’s still a lot to ... Continue Reading »

Skyrocketing Home Prices Mark Biggest Gain in 40 Years

Home prices notched their biggest annual growth since 1979 in June, during an extra-hot summer for real estate, fueled by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Nationally, sale prices shot up 17.2% in Jun... Continue Reading »

You’ll Be Glad You Did These 4 August Tasks When January Comes

Take a few minutes out of your pool time this month to do these four tasks. Then you'll have more time to eat popcorn in front of the fire next January. #1 Call the Snow Plow Now If you live in s... Continue Reading »

13 Tips for Home Wildfire Protection

How do most homes ignite during a wildfire? A floating ember or piece of burning wood touches down on a roof, gutter, in a vent, under a deck, or on a porch and ignites leaves and debris, says the Nat... Continue Reading »

What Happens After Foreclosure Moratorium Ends

Since early 2020, banks across the U.S. have been banned from foreclosing on homes as part of the federal government’s efforts to assist families feeling economic pain caused by the pandemic. On Sat... Continue Reading »

4 To-Dos for July to Save Money & Get Ready for Fall

When it's hot outside, smart homeowners focus their energies inside on these four tasks. You know: Like taking advantage of your nice, cool basement. #1 Organize the Basement The two most common ... Continue Reading »

5 Red Flags to Spot in a Home Inspection Report

There is a certain leap of faith that all buyers take when they make an offer on a new home. If the market is especially competitive, it’s not uncommon for prospective buyers to see a property only ... Continue Reading »

New Aid Coming for Mortgage Borrowers at Risk of Foreclosure

Borrowers who fell behind on their mortgages during the Covid-19 pandemic and continue to face economic hardship will get help from a Biden administration program announced on Friday, a bid to prevent... Continue Reading »

How to Become a Landlord

Want to become a landlord? You’re in good company! In today’s hot housing market, rents are on the rise, which may have you wondering whether it’s time to consider becoming a landlord and buying... Continue Reading »

Pandemic Homebuying Remorse

When COVID-19 struck New York City, dietitian Lisa Moskovitz was living in a two-bedroom apartment in Manhattan with her commercial banker husband and 2-year-old twin boys. They had no balcony, no roo... Continue Reading »

Forbearances decrease to 1.75M homeowners

For the 20th straight week, servicers’ forbearance portfolio volume dropped — this time a staggering 26 basis points, to 3.50% in the period ending July 11, per a survey from the Mortgage Bankers ... Continue Reading »

What is the Maximum Price I Can Afford for a House?

Imagine you find your dream home: It has a pool, a second-floor terrace and a home office that gets just the right amount of natural sunlight. But it’s at the top of your price range, and even if yo... Continue Reading »

FHFA kills adverse market fee

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is officially axing Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae’s controversial adverse market refinance fee. Starting in August, lenders will no longer be required to pa... Continue Reading »

What Is a Seller’s Market and How Do I Buy a House in One?

Today’s red-hot housing market has buyers in a frenzy. With low interest rates expected to rise and a meager home supply, competition is stiff. Finding ways to stand out presents a real challenge an... Continue Reading »

Forbearance loans decrease for 18th straight week

For the 18th straight week, servicers’ forbearance portfolio volume fell. It dropped four basis points to 3.87% last week, according to a survey from the Mortgage Bankers Association.  The MBA e... Continue Reading »

Are There Fees for Canceling a Real Estate Agent Contract?

You did the research, found a real estate agent you thought was right for the job, and signed an agreement to let the pro list your property. But if time passes—and if your house doesn’t sell—yo... Continue Reading »

How to Look Up the History of Your House

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

The shortage of available starter homes feels like yet another hurdle blocking some millennials’ path to traditional money milestones. “It just feels like every little thing keeps getting put o... Continue Reading »

US Home Contract Signings Saw Big Rebound in May

More Americans signed contracts to buy homes in May, a surprising rebound after months of cooling in the housing market, where lack of inventory has pushed prices to record levels. The National Ass... Continue Reading »

Refinance’s reign continued to wane in May

Though the number of high-quality refi candidates grew from 12 to more than 14 million from March through May — a 15% increase — actual refinance rate locks dropped by 27% over the same period, ac... Continue Reading »

HUD Aims to Boost Homeownership for Buyers With High Student Loans

WASHINGTON—The Federal Housing Administration is relaxing the way it assesses student-loan debt when weighing eligibility for homebuying assistance as the Biden administration pushes to help lower-i... Continue Reading »

Can You Buy a FSBO Home With a Real Estate Agent?

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

6 Summer Maintenance Tasks That Could Save You Cash

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

How to Get Your House Ready to Sell in Summer

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

How Much to Budget for Home Maintenance

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

Are You Truly Ready To Downsize?

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

4 Things You Absolutely Must Do Before Painting Your House

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

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

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

How To Pick a Paint Color You Won’t Regret—Inside and Out

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

6 Tips To Get Your Collection of Cleaning Supplies Under Control

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

VA-like housing bill proposed for first responders & teachers

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

How To Unpack After a Move and Leave Your Home Clutter-Free—for Good

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

7 Smart Strategies for Kitchen Remodeling

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

What Does ‘Under Contract’ Mean in a Real Estate Listing?

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

Everything You Need To Know About Buying A Fixer

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

4 Things Smart Homeowners Always Know to Do in May

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

6 Projects to Banish Boredom From Your Yard

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

How To Renovate Tight Living Quarters (Without Cutting Corners)

If you live in a small space, you’re used to having to come up with clever solutions to maximize your home’s potential. So whether you’re looking to renovate a studio apartment or small house, t... Continue Reading »

Are You Making One of These 7 Landscaping Mistakes?

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

Fannie & Freddie Set Dates for Their New Refi Option

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

Mortgage rates remain under 3% for third week in a row

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

FHFA finalizes rule on living wills for Fannie and Freddie

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

The Guide to Earnest Money

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

7 Bathroom Improvements You Should Make Before Selling Your Home

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

ARM vs. Fixed-Rate Mortgage: Which Home Loan Is Better for You?

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

Does Your Home Have a Plumbing Problem?

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

5 Reasons To Not Pay Off Your Mortgage Early

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

The Guide to Escalation Clauses in Real Estate

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

Will the Housing Market Frenzy Die Down? That Depends on Sellers

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

Avoid These 6 Mistakes When Upsizing to a New Home

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

Here’s How to Plan a Flooring Project Before You Move in to Your New Home

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

7 Smart Tips for Organizing Gardening Gear and Supplies This Spring

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

Here’s How To Finally Finish Half-Done Home Improvement Projects- and Why You Should

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

Remodeling Expected To Remain Hot, Even as the Pandemic Eases

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

Selling your home? List it midweek

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

Millions Will Enter Housing Market In 2021

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

How Often Can You Refinance a Home Loan?

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

Why Might a Listing’s Square Footage Differ From the Appraisal?

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

Americans Think It’s Better to Invest in Housing Than the Stock Market

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

9 Spring Cleaning Tasks That Homeowners Tend to Overlook

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

How Long to Keep Tax Records and More: A Checklist

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

Are Closing Costs Tax Deductible?

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

Can I Claim The Mortgage Interest Deduction?

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

What Is a Home Appraisal and Who Pays for It?

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

Average Home Sale Price Hits All-Time Record

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

COVID-19 Completely Transformed the Way We Buy Homes—but Will It Stick?

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

How To Design Your Dream Home

  When you design your own home from the ground up, the sky’s the limit when it comes to design. You get to choose the architectural style, the floor plan, and all the flourishes that make t... Continue Reading »

How Construction Loans Work

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

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

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

How To Hire a Home Builder

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

How to Perfect Your Living Room Furniture Layout

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

FHFA extends forbearance period to 18 months

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

US Long-Term Mortgage Rates Rise

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

Forbearance rate falls for third week in a row, to 5.22%

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

Home Prices See Biggest Jump Since 2014

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

6 Ways to Fix the Most Common Home-Buying 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 home... Continue Reading »

The Coronavirus Could Hit Mom-and-Pop Landlords Hard as Tenants Miss Rent Payments

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

7 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day Year-Round With Eco-Friendly 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 th... Continue Reading »

How Much Is Capital Gains Tax on Real Estate?

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

Should I Buy a House Now?

FOR MANY PEOPLE, buying a home is one of the biggest decisions of their lives. Purchasing a home can be a fun and exciting prospect, but it’s also a huge choice and there are many things that prospe... Continue Reading »

FHFA releases 2021 scorecard for Fannie and Freddie

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

4 Things To Do In February To Avoid A Yucky Spring

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

Should You Buy a Home or Keep Renting?

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

Did You Skip Mortgage Payments Last Year? Here’s What That Means for Your Taxes

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

5 tips for buying a home in a seller’s housing market

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

First-Time Home Buyers Find a Tough Market

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

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

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

7 Tax Benefits of Owning a Home

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

7 Insider Secrets About House Flipping To Put You on the Path to Profitability

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

6 Home Upgrades that Cost Less Than $10K and Will Bring in Offers

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

Housing Starts Hit Highest Pace Since 2006

Single-family housing starts ended 2020 on a high note, rising 12% in December to a 1.338 million unit pace – the highest pace since 2006, according to the Census Bureau.   That’s up 27... Continue Reading »

Fannie Mae Increases 2021 Economic Growth Forecast

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

Mortgage underwriting challenges in the pandemic

In December, AmTrust Title Insurance Company announced the hiring of seasoned underwriter Mary Shelley as its midwest region agency underwriter. We took the opportunity to talk to Shelley, who has 35 ... Continue Reading »

How Biden’s $1.9T stimulus plan impacts housing

President-elect Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus, unveiled Thursday as the American Rescue Plan, includes a call for extending the national moratorium on evictions and foreclosures until Sept. 30,... Continue Reading »

Will we have a buyer’s housing market in 2021?

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

What to budget for closing costs when buying a house

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

Organize Your Home in a Month in Less Than an Hour a Day

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

5 Tasks Every Homeowner Should Do in January

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

5 Tricks to Keep Your Pipes from Exploding This Winter

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

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

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

How the COVID-19 Pandemic Has Forever Changed the Process of Selling a House

  In normal circumstances, selling a house involves interacting with a lot of people. In-person house tours, roundtable closings, and handshakes are all standard formalities.   But ... Continue Reading »

Single-family housing starts reach highest level since 2007

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

How To Buy A Home This Winter

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

FHA raises loan limit by nearly $25,000 for 2021

Given massive year-over-year gains in home prices, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is increasing its 2021 loan limit in most of the U.S. to $356,362, an increase of nearly $25,000 over 2020... Continue Reading »

The housing market is hot, but not in a bubble

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

10 Ways to Enjoy Your Outdoor Living Space All Year

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

3 Ways To Tap Your Home Equity—and Which One’s Right for You

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

These Pandemic-Related Housing and Design Trends Aren’t Going Away

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

How Home Sellers Can Make a Bundle in the ‘Best’ Winter Sales Season in Years

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

Simple Tricks for Getting Your Garage Organized

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

Halloween 2020 Will Feature Rare Blue Moon And Daylight Saving Time

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

The Biggest Myths About Moving To The Suburbs

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

Home price index sees greatest gain in over 2 years

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

6 Home Upgrades Buyers Want in the COVID-19 Era

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

Builder Confidence Breaks Previous 35 Year Record High

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

7 Simple Renovations To Coronavirus-Proof Your Home

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

The Forbearance Crash Bros Spoke Too Soon

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

Luxury home sales rise 41.5%, making biggest jump since 2013

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

As home prices increase, sellers have the upper hand

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

8 Kitchen Remodel Costs to Consider

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

How the Pandemic Is Helping Some Millennials Realize Their Home-Buying Dreams

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

8 Outdoor Projects You Can (and Should) Do Over Fall and Winter

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

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

Ah, fall: The nip of the first chill in the air. The colorful foliage. The pumpkin spice lattes. The pumpkin spice everything.   Oh yeah, and the long list of home maintenance tasks awaitin... Continue Reading »

Pending home sales at an all-time high!

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

U.S. Home-Price Growth Picks Up Pace Amid Pandemic Buying Rush

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

Housing market stays hot into fall with mortgage applications up 6.8%

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

5 Rampant Mortgage Myths You’ll Hear These Days

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

Why Buyers Are Willing To Waive Their Home Inspections Right Now

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

Homeowners gain over $620 billion in equity in second quarter

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

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

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

How To Make Your Home Office Space a Huge Selling Point

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

The Refinancing Boom Is Just Getting Started

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

U.S. mortgage rates fall to all-time lows this week

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

How to Set Up Your Utilities

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

Mortgage lending sets a 20-year record with $1.1T in Q2

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

What Is Title Insurance?

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

Why is the housing market thriving in a pandemic?

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

What’s the Difference Between a Deed and Title?

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

FHFA Extends Foreclosure and Eviction Moratorium for a Third Time To Dec 31

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

Should You Add a Mother-in-Law Suite to Your Home?

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

5 Things to Ignore on a Home Tour

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

Existing-Home Sales Soar at a Record Pace in July as Americans Make Up for Lost Time

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

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac forbearance rate drops below 5%

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

The Ultimate Guide to Equity

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

The Secrets to Furnishing a Smaller Home

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

Mortgage Applications Remain Steady Amid Continued Economic Stress

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

US Homeownership Rate Soars To An Almost 12 Year High

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

How to welcome butterflies and entice them to stay in your garden

Fragile, beautiful and fascinating, butterflies flutter their way into our gardens and seem to just as quickly wing their way out.   It isn’t because they necessarily want to leave, said ... Continue Reading »

HEROES vs HEALS Act and what they would mean for housing

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

5 Tricks to Rejuvenate a Run-Down Patio on a Budget

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

How to DIY Your Own Outdoor Movie Theater

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

Loans in forbearance fall for the sixth straight week

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

Pending Home Sales Continued to Rebound Across the Country in June

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

If COVID-19 Closed Your Pool or Gym, Can You Skip Paying HOA Fees?

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

Buying a Fixer-Upper vs. Buying New

You have a lot of decisions to make when choosing what home to buy: where you’re going to live, the size of the home and the amount of work you're willing to put into it.   You may want t... Continue Reading »

Why Aging in Place at Home Matters Now More Than Ever

Creating a safe, accessible, and comfortable living environment is something everyone can relate to these days, whether it's having a convenient work-from-home station or finding cost-efficient ways t... Continue Reading »

11 Exterior Things You Shouldn’t Miss During a Home Video Tour

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

Everything You Need to Know About Washing Your Face Mask

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

7 Summer Maintenance Musts

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

What To Do If Your Mortgage Forbearance Is Ending Soon

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

How To Stave Off an Infestation

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

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

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

How to Look Up the History of Your Home

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

3 Money-Saving, Last-Minute Tax Tips for Homeowners

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

Use Succession Planting for a Thriving Garden

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

Larger Homes in the U.S. Are Making a Comeback

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

The Guide to Buying a Home Sight Unseen

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

How to Renovate a House

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

The Do’s and Don’ts of Buying Vacant Land

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

6 Curb Appeal Tricks To Attract Buyers During Coronavirus

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

Celebrate Dad With These 7 Unique Father’s Day Activities You Can Do at Home

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

8 Mistakes People Make Trying To Kill Weeds

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

6 Things Your Mortgage Lender Wants You To Know About Getting a Home Loan During COVID-19

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

The Summer Home-Buying Season May Be Much Hotter Than Expected

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

Home Prices Are Still Rising

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

Has The Mortgage Forbearance Curve Flattened?

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

Home Office Setup Ideas

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

Guide to Paint Finishes (So You Won’t Waste Your Money)

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

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

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

Homebuilders Are Now Offering Deals and Incentives on New Construction to Lure Buyers

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

What Happens If I Stop Paying My Mortgage?

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

10 House-Painting Rules You Should Never Break

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

How Did Past Health Scares Affect the Real Estate Market?

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

7 Hidden Costs of Self-Isolating at Home During Coronavirus

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

Everything You Need to Know About a Pending Home Sale

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

Why Does My Mortgage Keep Getting Sold?

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

Spring Cleaning 101

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

Watch Out for These Red Flags if You’re a Homeowner Seeking Forbearance on Your Mortgage

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

The Home Seller’s Guide To Striking the Right Deal Today—Despite the Pandemic

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

Should You Delay Homebuying During the Coronavirus Pandemic?

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

What Is a Force Majeure Clause, and What Does It Mean for Mortgages?

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

How Do You Sell a Home Safely During the COVID-19 Crisis

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

Everything You Need to Know About Moving Safely During the Coronavirus Pandemic

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

How To Conduct a Virtual House Hunt That’s As Good As the Real Thing

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

Coronavirus Forcing Home Buyers to Scramble to Close Deals

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

Americans Are Still Moving

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

How Record Unemployment Claims Will Affect the Housing Market

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

Mortgage industry lays out its case for widespread coronavirus emergency relief

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

How To Home-School Your Kids and Work at Home Without Going Crazy

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

Where Will Mortgage Rates Land?

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

12 Places to Clean in Your Home to Prevent the Spread of Illness

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

How Do I Find My Property Lines?

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

U.S. Suspends Most Foreclosures Amid Coronavirus Uncertainty

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

What You Need To Know If You Inherit Real Estate

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

Create an Estate Plan So Your Kids Don’t Inherit a Headache

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

Pros, Cons and Costs of a Home Warranty

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

Mortgage Applications Skyrocket To Highest Level Since 2009 As Rates Tumble

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

5 Doable DIY Projects To Send Your Home Equity Soaring

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

Mortgage Rates Reach Lowest Level in Almost 50 Years

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

Here’s What the Fed’s Surprise Interest Rate Cut Means for Mortgage Rates

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

New Home Sales Soar to Highest Level Since 2007

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

Become a Superhost by Avoiding These 7 Guest Room Mistakes

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

5 Sweet Tax Deductions When Selling a Home

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

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

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

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

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

5 Easy Living Room Projects You Can Master Like a Pro

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

Is the Best Time to Sell a House Changing?

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

How to Find a Reliable Home Contractor

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

Here’s Why Low Rates May Not Help Home Buyers Very Much

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

U.S. Inventory Of Homes For Sale Reaches Record Low

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

Mortgage lending just had its biggest quarter in 14 years

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

Here Are 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Refinance

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

Are You Waiting for House Prices to Drop During the Next Recession to Buy a Home? Why You Could Have a Very Long Wait

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

Three-year low in rates makes 11.3 million mortgages refi-eligible

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

How to Really View Your Home as an Investment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Most Popular Features In Real Estate Listings

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

FICO Changes Could Affect Your Credit Score

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

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

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

Declutter These 5 Kids Rooms Items In 2020

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

Is a Basement Included in the Square Footage of a Home?

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

8 Essential Winter Home Maintenance Tips That’ll Save You Big-Time

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

How to Handle Inherited Investments

RECEIVING AN inheritance can be a double-edged sword.   On the one hand, it's overwhelming, thanks to the intense emotions associated with losing a loved one combined with the confusion about what ... Continue Reading »

Here Are Your Options if You Can’t Make Your Mortgage Payment

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

Mortgage Rates Remain Stable to Start 2020—and That Could Mean an Early Start to the Spring Home-Buying Season

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

January is the Month to Start Looking If You’re Hoping to Buy a Home in 2020

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

How to Calculate Your Mortgage Payment

Plenty of online resources exist to help you calculate your mortgage accurately. (GETTY IMAGES)   WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR monthly mortgage payment, you're not just paying off the sticker pric... Continue Reading »

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

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

How Investors Benefit From the Basics

Taking care the basic things will create a path toward financial wellness and help position an investor for retirement.(GETTY IMAGES)   WHEN MOST PEOPLE THINK of wealth management, they oft... Continue Reading »

What to Know About Buying a House in 2020

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

How to Invest in Real Estate Bonds

Mortgage REITs are one way to invest in real estate bonds.(GETTY IMAGES)   WITH THE EXCITING performance of the stock market in 2019, it's easy to overlook the real estate bond market. But ... Continue Reading »

Don’t Make These 6 Mistakes When Remodeling Or Designing A Laundry Room

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

How to Learn About the School Districts in Your New Area

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

Tips for Maintaining Your Privacy While Selling Your Home

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

How Soon Can I Refinance My Mortgage?

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

Should You Buy a House With Cash?

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

10 Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your Home

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

Should Retirees Rent or Own? 3 Questions to Help You Decide

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

Does Homeowner Insurance Cover Renovation Damage?

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

Mortgage Rates Are Increasing Again—So Why Did More People Apply for Home Loans?

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

Don’t Believe These Myths About Painting

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

6 Crucial Questions to Ask a Title Insurance Provider

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

What First-Time Homebuyers Should Know About Closing Costs

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

Buying a Home with Friends Can be a Legally Complicated Transaction

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

7 Tips and Tricks to Keep Your Home Cleaner Longer

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

The 16 Incredibly Useful Rules Every Organized House Follows

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

6 Tips for Maintaining a Wood-Burning Fireplace

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

Do You Get Your Earnest Money Back If You Can’t Get a Mortgage?

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

How to Control Moisture and Humidity in the Home

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

Is a 15- or 30-Year Mortgage Right for You?

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

You’d Better Ask These 5 Crucial Questions Before You Buy a House

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

Why You Might Not Want To Rake Your Lawn This Fall

The cooling temperatures of autumn offer a long-awaited break from summer's scorching heat, but you won't relax for long—the beautiful colors of the leaves also signal that yardwork for homeowners i... Continue Reading »

12 Tasks to Tackle This Fall

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

4 Things to Consider Before Painting a Room Yourself

To the inexperienced, painting a wall may seem like a larger-scale version of coloring inside the lines. But painting should never be considered an elementary task. Painting professionals and experien... Continue Reading »

3 Fast Fixes for the Home Features Millennial Buyers Hate

When it comes to selling a house, you want to appeal to as many potential buyers as possible. For years, that meant targeting baby boomers and Gen Xers; but today, millennials are buying homes in larg... Continue Reading »

4 Ways to Finance a Home Improvement Project Without Draining Your Bank Account

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

Does My Roof Need to Be Repaired or Replaced?

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

How to Save Enough for a Down Payment

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

What Is LTV and Why Does it Matter?

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

5 Home Security Tips for Protecting Your Family and Valuables

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

What Is a Sheriff’s Sale?

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

Here’s How to Pay for That Expensive Home Renovation With a HELOC

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

5 Tips for Making Your Home Holiday Ready

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

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

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

7 Home Upgrades That Will Attract First-Time Home Buyers

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

How to Get a Mortgage With Bad Credit

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

6 Ways To Make Your Home Environmentally Friendly

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

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 choi... Continue Reading »

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 pa... Continue Reading »

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 purcha... Continue Reading »

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 ... Continue Reading »

A Homeowner’s 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 functi... Continue Reading »

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 fo... Continue Reading »

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... Continue Reading »

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. T... Continue Reading »

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 h... Continue Reading »

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. ... Continue Reading »

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 fee... Continue Reading »

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 recentl... Continue Reading »

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 ho... Continue Reading »

U.S. 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.   Existi... Continue Reading »

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 direction... Continue Reading »

How to Buy Land: 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. Bu... Continue Reading »

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 home... Continue Reading »

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 is... Continue Reading »

The Pros And Cons Of Prepaying Your Mortgage

Should you prepay your mortgage? For some homeowners it’s a financially savvy move—but for others, beefing up their loan payments just doesn’t make sense. To help you figure out whether prepayme... Continue Reading »

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 pu... Continue Reading »

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 sal... Continue Reading »

Home-Buying 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 ac... Continue Reading »

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 anno... Continue Reading »

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 diligence... Continue Reading »

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... Continue Reading »

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 biggest ... Continue Reading »

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 value. ... Continue Reading »

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 "laundry ... Continue Reading »

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? Afte... Continue Reading »

Don’t 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, m... Continue Reading »

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... Continue Reading »

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 pocked ... Continue Reading »

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, build... Continue Reading »

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 plac... Continue Reading »

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 landscapin... Continue Reading »

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... Continue Reading »

Why It’s 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... Continue Reading »

Most home sellers will wait this long before dropping their listing price

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

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 proble... Continue Reading »

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'll ... Continue Reading »

The Housing Slowdown May Be Ending: 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... Continue Reading »

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 ha... Continue Reading »

Don’t 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 suppress ... Continue Reading »

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 hom... Continue Reading »

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.   ... Continue Reading »

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 bough... Continue Reading »

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 ... Continue Reading »

Here’s What You’re on the Hook For If You’re 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 eno... Continue Reading »

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 that... Continue Reading »

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 don... Continue Reading »

FICO scores for May mortgage borrowers remain at two-year high

Ellie Mae report shows borrowers are in better shape financially A strong labor market coupled with lower borrowing costs has put Americans in better shape to get a mortgage, based on average FICO sc... Continue Reading »

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!   Bu... Continue Reading »

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 th... Continue Reading »

What 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 hard... Continue Reading »

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... Continue Reading »

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 th... Continue Reading »

6 Ways to Embark on an Eco-Friendly 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? &... Continue Reading »

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 contract... Continue Reading »

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 th... Continue Reading »

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 ... Continue Reading »

Here’s 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 infor... Continue Reading »

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, t... Continue Reading »

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 ... Continue Reading »

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 o... Continue Reading »

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 considerati... Continue Reading »

5 Ways You’re 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 clea... Continue Reading »

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 prefera... Continue Reading »

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 neighb... Continue Reading »

4 Good Reasons to Not Get a Mortgage Online

Applying for a mortgage these days can be accomplished entirely online—no need to schlep to a bank and suffer hand cramps filling out paperwork.   Instead, you can punch some basic info i... Continue Reading »

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 mi... Continue Reading »

Seller’s 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 al... Continue Reading »

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 h... Continue Reading »

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 c... Continue Reading »

‘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 caric... Continue Reading »

Does Your Heater Smell Like It’s Burning? 4 Explanations Why

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 co... Continue Reading »

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 guaran... Continue Reading »

How to Get Your Home’s 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, fieldin... Continue Reading »

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 a... Continue Reading »

2019’s 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® economists originally predicted late last year. That means more home sales—... Continue Reading »

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 to... Continue Reading »

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 m... Continue Reading »

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 ... Continue Reading »

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 sa... Continue Reading »

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 to ... Continue Reading »

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... Continue Reading »

A Guide to Mortgage Interest Rates: Why They Go Down and Up, and 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 ... Continue Reading »

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, "hoarde... Continue Reading »

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... Continue Reading »

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. &nbs... Continue Reading »

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 tu... Continue Reading »

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 ma... Continue Reading »

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 to ... Continue Reading »

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 tur... Continue Reading »

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 that ... Continue Reading »

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. ... Continue Reading »

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 windf... Continue Reading »

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 ... Continue Reading »

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 m... Continue Reading »

Here’s 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 a... Continue Reading »

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 fi... Continue Reading »

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 sh... Continue Reading »

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

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

Don’t 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 ... Continue Reading »

5 Sweet Tax Deductions When Selling a Home: Did You Take Them All?

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 ... Continue Reading »

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.  ... Continue Reading »

A Whole New Credit Score Is Coming—Are You Prepared?

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, including qualifying for a mortgage and renting... Continue Reading »

What’s 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 d... Continue Reading »

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 y... Continue Reading »

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 substanti... Continue Reading »

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 fel... Continue Reading »

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 agent... Continue Reading »

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... Continue Reading »

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 se... Continue Reading »

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 ho... Continue Reading »

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 re... Continue Reading »

Outdated Mortgage Advice You Should Ignore Right Now

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

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... Continue Reading »

6 Presale Home Improvements Sellers Wish They’d 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 re... Continue Reading »

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 und... Continue Reading »

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... Continue Reading »

Here’s 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, b... Continue Reading »

6 Reasons Why Your Higher Offer Won’t 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... Continue Reading »

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 yo... Continue Reading »

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... Continue Reading »

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 ... Continue Reading »

Documents You Need for Mortgage Pre-Approval: A Checklist for Each Type of Loan

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 mortgag... Continue Reading »

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 is ... Continue Reading »

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.... Continue Reading »

Mortgage Rates Hit a 9-Month 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... Continue Reading »

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 evenin... Continue Reading »

Real Estate Mistakes You Don’t 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... Continue Reading »

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 Observ... Continue Reading »

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? ... Continue Reading »

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 w... Continue Reading »

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 t... Continue Reading »

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 the... Continue Reading »

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 together ... Continue Reading »

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 s... Continue Reading »

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 sta... Continue Reading »

How to Buy a House for Your Child (Even If You Aren’t 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.   “... Continue Reading »

6 Times It’s 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 car... Continue Reading »

5 Times It’s 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 b... Continue Reading »

5 Reasons to Talk to a Lender Right Now—Long Before You Buy a Home

Most potential home buyers wait to talk to a mortgage lender until they’re ready to buy. Makes sense, right? Why bother digging up your financial statements and filling out a bunch of paperwork if y... Continue Reading »

6 Presale Home Improvements Sellers Wish They’d 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 re... Continue Reading »

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? &... Continue Reading »

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 a mortgage. So if your credit score is low, knowin... Continue Reading »

‘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 homeown... Continue Reading »

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 d... Continue Reading »

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 the ... Continue Reading »

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 ... Continue Reading »

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 tru... Continue Reading »

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 greets... Continue Reading »

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, ho... Continue Reading »

FHA will not cut mortgage insurance premiums

Actuarial report reveals insurance fund is in good health, but Montgomery says premiums will stand   The Federal Housing Administration released details on the health of its flagship Mutual M... Continue Reading »

So Why Are You Selling?’ 10 Answers You Should Never Give

“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 you... Continue Reading »

6 Fast Fixes To Save Face If You’re 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 v... Continue Reading »

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 foun... Continue Reading »

Are Housewarming Parties Tacky? And Other 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 d... Continue Reading »

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 to mortgage lenders that you've paid people... Continue Reading »

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 you... Continue Reading »

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 u... Continue Reading »

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: T... Continue Reading »

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 (or ... Continue Reading »

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... Continue Reading »

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 c... Continue Reading »

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... Continue Reading »

What Home Buyers and Sellers Need to Know About Today’s 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 succes... Continue Reading »

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?   ... Continue Reading »

Buyers Need More Time To Save A Downpayment

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

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 strang... Continue Reading »

How to Get a Moving Estimate That Won’t 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 y... Continue Reading »

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 send... Continue Reading »

Mortgage Rates Retreat, but Housing Market Supply Crunch Won’t 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 ... Continue Reading »

The Best Home-Buying Advice I’ve 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 ... an... Continue Reading »

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 afte... Continue Reading »

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 lende... Continue Reading »

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 buc... Continue Reading »

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 ... Continue Reading »

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 ofte... Continue Reading »

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 ... Continue Reading »

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 words: ... Continue Reading »

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 ho... Continue Reading »

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 floo... Continue Reading »

U.S. Pending Home Sales Fell 1.8% 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. &n... Continue Reading »

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 t... Continue Reading »

Thinking of Converting Your Garage Into Living Space? You’d Better Read This First

You love your home, but space-wise, 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-ca... Continue Reading »

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 pol... Continue Reading »

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 read... Continue Reading »

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 gardener   Fall is the best time to garden, and it’s about time w... Continue Reading »

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 trees   In fall my town holds leaf collection days, when homeowners (or their landscape services) blow ... Continue Reading »

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 un... Continue Reading »

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 in ...... Continue Reading »

Why are more seniors holding onto mortgage debt?

Study sheds light on factors influencing older homeowners   Fewer older homeowners are paying off their mortgages in retirement, and some are worried the trend may have a lasting impact on th... Continue Reading »

Homebuilder Confidence Holds Its Ground

Although cost causes concern, demand is persistent   Although homebuilders still fear increasing material costs, homebuilder confidence remained unchanged at 67 in September, according to the... Continue Reading »

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 ... Continue Reading »

Can You Actually Turn a Profit Flipping Homes in Today’s 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 opportunit... Continue Reading »

What Is Debt-to-Income Ratio? The Key to Qualifying for a Mortgage

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 plain ... Continue Reading »

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 en... Continue Reading »

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 downs... Continue Reading »

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 incre... Continue Reading »

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 like... Continue Reading »

Construction spending increases 0.1% 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 J... Continue Reading »

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 wor... Continue Reading »

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. &... Continue Reading »

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 ... Continue Reading »

How to Price a Home in a Seller’s 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 p... Continue Reading »

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 insuran... Continue Reading »

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 deal ... Continue Reading »

6 Questions You’d 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 deal... Continue Reading »

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.   ... Continue Reading »

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 reality... Continue Reading »

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, e... Continue Reading »

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 property... Continue Reading »

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.  ... Continue Reading »

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.   “F... Continue Reading »

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 t... Continue Reading »

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-ba... Continue Reading »

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 nei... Continue Reading »

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 cred... Continue Reading »

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.   ... Continue Reading »

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 av... Continue Reading »

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 regret” ... Continue Reading »

How to Finance a House Flip: 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 pr... Continue Reading »

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 children ... Continue Reading »

What Is a Single-Family Home? Here Are the Characteristics That Define It

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, no... Continue Reading »

Here’s 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 spending, ... Continue Reading »

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 lo... Continue Reading »

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... Continue Reading »

Local Bookstores You’ll 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 o... Continue Reading »

You’ve 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 y... Continue Reading »

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 point... Continue Reading »

What a Builder Warranty Covers on New Constructions (and What You’re 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, not ... Continue Reading »

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 co... Continue Reading »

‘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... Continue Reading »

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 ... Continue Reading »

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 ... Continue Reading »

Don’t 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... Continue Reading »

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 th... Continue Reading »

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 ... Continue Reading »

Don’t 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 p... Continue Reading »

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 this... Continue Reading »

Portland’s 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 co... Continue Reading »

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 a... Continue Reading »

Happy ‘Housiversary’? 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 officia... Continue Reading »

8 Things That Are Bound to Go Wrong When You’re 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: Whi... Continue Reading »

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... Continue Reading »

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 n... Continue Reading »

Baby Boomers Are Downsizing and There’s a Problem: 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 ... Continue Reading »

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. Eac... Continue Reading »

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 pl... Continue Reading »

You’ll 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 kitche... Continue Reading »

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 s... Continue Reading »

The Counteroffer: Negotiating a Real Estate Deal

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 ba... Continue Reading »

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. ... Continue Reading »

The 3 Most Boring Parts of the Home-Buying 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 mistak... Continue Reading »

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 ... Continue Reading »

Ginnie Mae reveals new requirements for VA refinance

Continues fight against predatory lending Ginnie Mae recently announced new requirements for its Department of Veterans Affairsre finance loans in order to protect service members from predatory ... Continue Reading »

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. ... Continue Reading »

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 p... Continue Reading »

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 ... Continue Reading »

8 Real Estate Documents to Keep—and What Happens If You Don’t

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. &n... Continue Reading »

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 ... Continue Reading »

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 deve... Continue Reading »

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... Continue Reading »

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... Continue Reading »

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 ma... Continue Reading »

5 Ways You’re 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 fertil... Continue Reading »

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?... Continue Reading »

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. ... Continue Reading »

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 sunnie... Continue Reading »

Mother’s Day Ideas That Don’t 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 in... Continue Reading »

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... Continue Reading »

5 Rules for What You Can and Can’t 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 ... Continue Reading »

5 Surprising Speedbumps That Can Slow Down a Home Sale

baloon111/iStock   Once 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... Continue Reading »

House Hunting in One Day: 6 Tips for Maximizing Your Time

asiseeit/iStock   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, whic... Continue Reading »

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 bl... Continue Reading »

How Much Below the Asking Price Should You Offer on a House?

asiseeit/iStock   How 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 ... Continue Reading »

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 a... Continue Reading »

Is a Mortgage Transfer Possible? Sometimes—Here’s When

Is 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 you pay ... Continue Reading »

How to Meet Your Neighbors

Hero Images/Getty Images   Want 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. Th... Continue Reading »

Easy Meals to Make When You’re 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. ... Continue Reading »

Is an All-Cash Offer on a House Always a Good Idea?

iStock   Ah, 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 ... Continue Reading »

5 Things Not to Bother Fixing Before You Sell Your Home

iStock   Selling 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 ... Continue Reading »

How Long Does a Furnace Last, and the Warning Signs That It Needs to Be Replaced

Design Pics/Getty Images How 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... Continue Reading »

Gardening Tips for Portland’s 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 t... Continue Reading »

8 Times Bargain Hunting for a Home Can Backfire

  Everybody 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 ... Continue Reading »

What Is a Closing Disclosure Form?

iStock   What 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 yo... Continue Reading »

8 Secrets to Buying a Home Out of State, Without the Risk of Remorse

iStock Buying 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 hour... Continue Reading »

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 Mont... Continue Reading »

The Rooms That’ll Make Buyers Bail, Even If They Love the House

iStock   In 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 kille... Continue Reading »

Home Staging Ideas for Your Garage

  Photo by Garage Guru Enlightened Storage/Houzz Need some home staging ideas for you garage? Yup, this grease-covered dumping ground that serves as a "home" for... Continue Reading »

What is a Seller’s Market?

iStock   What 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 uppe... Continue Reading »

Home Buyers Are Raring to Go, Planning Strategies as Spring Market Heats Up

iStock   Driven 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 compet... Continue Reading »

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 ... Continue Reading »

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 ... Continue Reading »

Get Ready for the Most Competitive Spring Home Buying Season Since the Great Recession

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images   Spring 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... Continue Reading »

This is why Millennials have yet to flood housing market

Largest generation isn’t fueling home buying market   Millennials are the largest living generation, however, according to Freddie Mac’s March Insight report, they are falling short o... Continue Reading »

15 Things to Do Before Moving Into a New Home

iStock Welcome 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 ... Continue Reading »

9 Listing Photo Do’s and Don’ts

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 ... Continue Reading »

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 yo... Continue Reading »

How to Measure Your Home’s 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 com... Continue Reading »

Home Equity Loan Taxes: Watch Out, It’s a Whole New World

iStock   Have 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 c... Continue Reading »

7 Ways to Botch Moving Big-Time

Peopleimages/iStock   If 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 compa... Continue Reading »

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 ... Continue Reading »

2018 St. Patrick’s 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 th... Continue Reading »

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 contract... Continue Reading »

The 2018 New Construction Forecast

gerenme/iStock Home 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 no... Continue Reading »

5 Disastrous Tax Mistakes People Make When They Work From Home

Dean Mitchell/iStock   Working 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.) B... Continue Reading »

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 monthl... Continue Reading »

Afraid of Selling Your Home Too Soon—and Missing Out on Tons of Cash?

If 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 ... and dis... Continue Reading »

Best Ways To Deal With Storm Water

These landscape solutions prevent puddling and flooding-and manage to look good, too River of Rocks Photo By Karen Bussolini   You can turn landscaping for water drainage solutions in... Continue Reading »

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 make... Continue Reading »

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 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 the... Continue Reading »

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 su... Continue Reading »

The Love-Hate Relationship All Owners Have With Their Home, Revealed

    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 ... Continue Reading »

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 Lak... Continue Reading »

Portland Valentine’s 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... Continue Reading »

Home Sellers Are Really Cashing In These Days

Kenishirotie/iStock Home 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, se... Continue Reading »

Get To Know Portland’s 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 trips... Continue Reading »

More Americans Are Living With People Who Are Not Their Family

Alice S. Hall/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images   Blanche Devereaux was ahead of her time.   A growing number of adults are living with other adults with whom they are not... Continue Reading »

Everything You Need to Know About Portland ADU’s

  IMAGE: LEO ZAROSINKSI Mother-in-law studio. Man shack. Rentable pied-à-terre. Granny flat. Whatever one calls the accessory dwelling unit, the twee bungalettes are blooming across to... Continue Reading »

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 ... Continue Reading »

3 Reasons Why a Real Estate Agent Is a House Flipper’s 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 t... Continue Reading »

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. H... Continue Reading »

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... Continue Reading »

How to Sell a House in 2018: 5 Tips to Get the Edge 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... Continue Reading »

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 ... Continue Reading »

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 sh... Continue Reading »

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 generat... Continue Reading »

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 tw... Continue Reading »

What Is ‘House Poor’? What It Means, and Whether You’re at Risk

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 inc... Continue Reading »

Don’t Put a Freeze on Home Maintenance! 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 "The... Continue Reading »

What Is Procuring Cause? 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 diff... Continue Reading »

4 Chilling Revelations You’ll 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. ... Continue Reading »

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 pre... Continue Reading »

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 o... Continue Reading »

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. ... Continue Reading »

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 ... Continue Reading »

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”). T... Continue Reading »

How to Sell a House to a Family Member: Tax Implications and Experts You Should Hire

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.... Continue Reading »

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 y... Continue Reading »

The Secret to No-Fuss Holiday Decor? Use What You Already Have

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 pil... Continue Reading »

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 a... Continue Reading »

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 party ... Continue Reading »

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 e... Continue Reading »

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 ... Continue Reading »

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... Continue Reading »

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 dea... Continue Reading »

New home construction increases to meet rising demand

But increase could be temporary The 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. Dep... Continue Reading »

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 to... Continue Reading »

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 ... Continue Reading »

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 spr... Continue Reading »

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... Continue Reading »

5 Home Design Trends You’ll 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 ... Continue Reading »

Why You Should Still Talk to a Lender Even If You’re 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... Continue Reading »

Read this before getting a reverse mortgage

Changes announced by HUD could change the calculus of whether these loans make sense for certain borrowers Seniors need to get a clearer picture of the pros and cons of getting a reverse mortgage o... Continue Reading »

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, pronto... Continue Reading »

Who’s Buying Homes, Who’s Selling—and Who’s 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 h... Continue Reading »

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 d... Continue Reading »

Should You Find a Home Inspector or Go With Your Real Estate Agent’s 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 quali... Continue Reading »

9 Ugly Painting Mistakes You’ll Come to Regret

KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock 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... Continue Reading »

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 rece... Continue Reading »

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 responsi... Continue Reading »

Upcoming Halloween Events around Portland to embrace the Holiday Spirit

Oregon City: Fantasy Trail   If 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 betwee... Continue Reading »

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 P... Continue Reading »

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 somet... Continue Reading »

Tune Up Your Open House: 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... Continue Reading »

Can Halloween Help You Sell Your House? 3 Spooky Sales Tricks to Try Right Now

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 ne... Continue Reading »

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 you... Continue Reading »

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 th... Continue Reading »

How to Get a Mortgage With No Credit: A Ray of Hope for ‘Invisibles’

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 ... Continue Reading »

The Millennial Mortgage Problem: 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 sur... Continue Reading »

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 e... Continue Reading »

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 yo... Continue Reading »

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 fo... Continue Reading »

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?). Congra... Continue Reading »

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-bu... Continue Reading »

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 al... Continue Reading »

Why It’s 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 f... Continue Reading »

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 pote... Continue Reading »

5 Hidden Moving Expenses That Could Jack Up Your Final Bill

AndreyPopov/iStock 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 distan... Continue Reading »

How to Transition a Baby’s Bedroom Into a Big-Kid 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 transitio... Continue Reading »

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, i... Continue Reading »

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 before d... Continue Reading »

Buying Outdoor Furniture? 6 Embarrassing Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs

allenmorrisphoto/iStock The vestiges of summer are fast slipping away, along with all those lazy afternoons and evenings spent lounging outside. But before you hermetically seal yourself ind... Continue Reading »

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 come... Continue Reading »

Do You Need a Pre-Approval 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 ... Continue Reading »

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 cri... Continue Reading »

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)... Continue Reading »

6 Questions First-Time 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 thei... Continue Reading »

Is a Mortgage Pre-Approval 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 bi... Continue Reading »

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 b... Continue Reading »

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... Continue Reading »

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 survive ... Continue Reading »

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 plen... Continue Reading »

8 Dumb Reasons People Can’t 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 die... Continue Reading »

Follow along as we search for Portland’s best old-fashioned milkshakes

Follow along as we search for Portland's best old-fashioned milkshakes Follow along as we drink through Portland’s old-fashioned milkshakes in search of our favorites. For this story, tha... Continue Reading »

The Most Popular Interior Design Styles in Each State

  Joybird When 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... Continue Reading »

Should I Buy a Fixer-Upper?

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 pa... Continue Reading »

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 under... Continue Reading »

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 higher... Continue Reading »

What’s the Cost of a Home Appraisal?

Neustockimages/iStock   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 lea... Continue Reading »

The Real Factors That Boost Your Home’s Bottom Line

iStock The 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 th... Continue Reading »

8 things you need to do to prepare for the total solar eclipse

by Jamie Hale | The Oregonian, OregonLive 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 ... Continue Reading »

Which Comes First: Selling Your Home or Buying a New One?

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 condit... Continue Reading »

What are the different types of financing for a home purchase?

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? ... Continue Reading »

The Earnest Money Deposit: What You Should Know

  The 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... Continue Reading »

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 sweating bullets, just wa... Continue Reading »

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 ... Continue Reading »

What Is Private Mortgage Insurance

Private mortgage insurance, or PMI: Just the basics If 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.]   Wha... Continue Reading »

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 Ho... Continue Reading »

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... Continue Reading »

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 membe... Continue Reading »

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Floating Homes & 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 c... Continue Reading »

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 strategic adva... Continue Reading »

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 2016. ... Continue Reading »

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 y... Continue Reading »

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 Lo... Continue Reading »

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 sav... Continue Reading »

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 used to g... Continue Reading »

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 m... Continue Reading »

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 ... Continue Reading »

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 go... Continue Reading »

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 pric... Continue Reading »

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 agent... Continue Reading »

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 home... Continue Reading »

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 d... Continue Reading »

The Homes Appraisal Value Is Less Than My Offer… Now What?

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... Continue Reading »

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 ba... Continue Reading »

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 tim... Continue Reading »

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 h... Continue Reading »

Why Are Millennials Moving To Portland? Jobs, Affordability & Craft Beer

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 ... Continue Reading »

Is Replacing Carpet With Hardwood Floors Always Worth It?

iStock 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.   ... Continue Reading »

Why Millennials Are (Partly) to Blame for the Housing Shortage

Google Maps The rush of young people to U.S. cities over the past few years is partly to blame for America’s worsening housing shortage. In some of the country’s largest and most prosper... Continue Reading »

How to Sell a Teardown House

Tips for getting the best return on a home that will most likely be redeveloped. The time has come to sell your house, but after more than a few years living there – and a little wear and tear – ... Continue Reading »

Remodeling Your Kitchen? The Most Popular Appliances, Finishes, and Flooring

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 less stre... Continue Reading »

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 t... Continue Reading »

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 comp... Continue Reading »

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 impress... Continue Reading »

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 the... Continue Reading »

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 ... Continue Reading »

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 sea... Continue Reading »

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 type... Continue Reading »

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 mar... Continue Reading »

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 sales ... Continue Reading »

Here’s How Brokers Can Reach Millenials

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

Tesla Releases Details Of Its Solar Roof Tiles

[It’s] cheaper than regular roof with ‘infinity warranty’ and 30 yrs of solar power   Tesla released today all the information to order its new solar roof tiles products – starting with t... Continue Reading »

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, Navajo white ... Continue Reading »

10 Ways to Find Our 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 de... Continue Reading »

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—esp... Continue Reading »

The Future of Portland’s 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 buil... Continue Reading »

How to Tell if You’ll 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 co... Continue Reading »

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 Village- Feel like a small town stroll? Multnomah has... Continue Reading »

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 ... Continue Reading »

10 Sneaky Ways to Make Your Kitchen Look Expensive

There’s no denying that the kitchen has become the focal point of the modern home, the place where the outsize influence of the Food Network and HGTV converge. Prospective buyers want to imagine t... Continue Reading »

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 b... Continue Reading »

Does it Really Matter What Your Neighbor’s 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 tho... Continue Reading »

Is It Smart To Buy A Home With Less Than 20% 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 ... Continue Reading »

We Know What Home Buyers Want—and Here’s How to Give It to Them

Think bigger is better? Well, most of today’s home shoppers don’t. The homes that are in most demand by buyers in a hypercompetitive real estate environment have just three bedrooms and two bath... Continue Reading »

5 Ways You’ll 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 and ... Continue Reading »

Baby Boomers: Here’s How to Sell Your Home to Millennials

Shopping for a home has evolved over the years. Here's what you need to know about the new generation of buyers. For years we’ve seen the shift in Baby Boomers ditching their large suburban hom... Continue Reading »

Save for a down payment without sacrificing your social life

It’s no secret that one of the significant obstacles facing millennial would-be homebuyers is the struggle to save enough money for the downpayment. While many in this age bracket have learned how t... Continue Reading »

Heres Why Appraisers Are Reluctant To Work With The VA

Regulatory burdens getting in the way Many appraisers are reluctant to work with Veterans Affairs as pressure mounts due to regulatory burdens, according to the National Association of Realtors’ 20... Continue Reading »

Things To Keep In Mind When Searching For An Investment Property

1. What is your long term plan for the property? This may seem obvious, but make sure you know what your goals are. Do you plan to turn the property into a rental? When do you plan to sell the pro... Continue Reading »

Kids Sad About Moving? Here’s How to Help Them Adjust

Zurijeta/iStock   Moving can be a huge adjustment, particularly for kids. Thrust into new schools filled with unfamiliar faces, your once-upbeat brood may struggle with inse... Continue Reading »

Why Your Home May Not Be Selling, Even in a Seller’s Market

Houses are selling fast in your city, so you think yours will be easy to sell – and for top dollar. Never mind all that advice about curb appeal because these days anything is selling, right? &nb... Continue Reading »

The Early Bird’s Guide to Selling a Home

  Spring brings out home buyers en masse. But in these waning days of winter, many home sellers are still hibernating. Well, it’s time to wake up! Although technically the... Continue Reading »

What Are Your Rights When It Comes to Nearby Construction?

Spring is near, and for many that means it’s time to gear up for construction season. But with unseasonably warm weather in many parts of the country, it appears development is already well under wa... Continue Reading »

When Is the Best Time of the Year to Relocate to a New City?

The U.S. Census Bureau reported in November that the rate of Americans moving hit an all-time low in 2016, with 11.2 percent moving to a new home and just under 2 percent making a significant move to ... Continue Reading »

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, Navajo white ... Continue Reading »

Will Single Buyers Capture a Greater Share of 2017 Home Sales?

According to data from the National Association of REALTORS®, the share of single buyers was on the decline from 2011 to 2015, as there was more competition in the market by investment and vacation h... Continue Reading »

Home Buyers Reveal What Made Them Fall in Love at First Sight

Ask any home buyer to describe what convinced them that this house was the one, and you’ll hear one word come up over and over again: “love.”   Buying a home, after... Continue Reading »

A Guide to Buying and Selling Your Home in Winter 2017

Abraham Lincoln is credited to have said: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” While this is not a post about improving your land... Continue Reading »

Transitioning from a Tenant to a Homeowner

  Becoming a homeowner for the first time is an exciting and stressful process. However, once the papers are signed and the keys are in your pocket, your work really begins. Homeownershi... Continue Reading »

How Much Does It Cost to Sell a House? Here’s a Reality Check

Devonyu/iStock   Show me the money! Admit it, that’s what you’re thinking when you consider selling your house. In fact, chances are good you’ve mentally spent much of the proceeds ... Continue Reading »

Is It Cheaper to Buy or Build a House? Compare the Pros and Cons

Feverpitched/iStock     When you decide it’s time to put down roots, you may wonder: Is it cheaper to buy or build a house? Unless you’re rolling in money, you’ll... Continue Reading »


Based on 75,427 Interstate and Cross-Border Household Goods Relocations from January 1, 2016 through December 15, 2016. Where is America moving? Since January 1993, Atlas Van Lines has re... Continue Reading »

How Moving to a New Home Affects Your Taxes

New year, new tax season ahead – even though many of us may not be ready to face it. Whether you’re filing your taxes on your own, using online services or enlisting the skills of an account... Continue Reading »

Suburbia Is Here to Stay, According to New Urban Land Institute Report

  Great news for suburban real estate agents: Although America's urban landscapes continue to grow and millennials prefer walkable neighborhoods, suburbia is predicted to maintain its popu... Continue Reading »

What to Do Before You Get Settled in Your New Home

  Buying a new house is an exciting adventure to embark on. Whether you are a newlywed just beginning your life with your significant other or a retiree looking to downsize, purchasing a n... Continue Reading »

So You Inherited Property—Now What?

RomoloTavani/iStock     It’s inevitable: Sooner or later most of us will receive that dreaded phone call announcing a death in the family. And, amid your grief, you might al... Continue Reading »

Giant residential development will rise from one of Lake Oswego’s few remaining prime properties

There aren't many prime properties left for developing in Lake Oswego, and with The Springs at Lake Oswego's plans to build a 216-unit senior living community at the corner of Boones Ferry and Kruse W... Continue Reading »

Study: Portland not growing all that fast

A home under construction. (Portland Tribune) PORTLAND, Ore. (PORTLAND TRIBUNE) — Sometimes it seems like everyone’s moving to Portland, which is why housing prices are increasing so fast and... Continue Reading »

Oregon outshines most states at reporting to parents on school performance

Oregon does a better job than most states of communicating clear and thorough information about public schools' performance to parents and the public, a new study finds.   Officials at ... Continue Reading »

When is the Right Time to Sell Your Home?

If you are like so many homeowners today, you are not living in your "forever home" right at the moment. Rather, the home you currently reside in is a stepping stone to get you just that much closer t... Continue Reading »

4 Trends to Shape Real Estate in 2017

  2017 promises to be an interesting year in real estate. Facing the Millennial Effect, interest rate questions and economic changes, it’s important for REALTORS® to devote time investi... Continue Reading »

6 Ways to Successfully Snoop a Neighborhood

  The old real estate adage, “location, location, location,” is absolutely spot-on when it comes to pricing, but certainly goes much deeper. In fact, the location of your next home is the ... Continue Reading »

8 Ways to Winterize Your Home

Temperatures are dropping, days are becoming shorter and you’respending more time indoors. It’s time to prep your home for the fall and winter months.   No matter where you li... Continue Reading »

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a New Neighborhood

Whether you are looking for a hip enclave of bars or a quiet suburban street filled with families for your kids to play with, choosing a new neighborhood requires a lot of consideration. However there... Continue Reading »

What Does ‘As Is’ Mean?

    When looking through property listings and the term “as is” appears, some people see it as a warning. Others see it as an opportunity. That might get you wondering, what ... Continue Reading »

Eighty Nine Percent of Investors Want to Invest in Real Estate

  Could real estate be the hottest trend in investing? While the concept itself isn’t new, confidence and intrigue in this investment strategy are high according to recent findings fro... Continue Reading »

5 Tips to Minimize Stress in the Mortgage Process

    Purchasing a home is one of the biggest financial decisions many will make in their lifetime. Before you begin looking at homes however, you will likely need to first browse the mortgage... Continue Reading »

Portland Art Museum to add 3-story pavilion as part of a $75M expansion

The Portland Art Museum's leaders said Thursday the facility will expand in a way that "unifies its campus by connecting the Museum’s freestanding buildings." The announcement came at the same ti... Continue Reading »

6 Surprising Things That Can Sabotage Your Credit Score

If you’re hunting for a house and a mortgage, you’ve probably heard that your credit scorewill affect your buying power big-time, because lenders use your credit score to determine whethe... Continue Reading »

Homeownership rates rebound in Portland metro area

    Even as housing prices explode and new apartments sprout everywhere, the Portland area's homeownership rate is finally ticking upward, a strong signal that the millennial gener... Continue Reading »

What Do Condo Fees Cover? A Lot More Than You Think

alacatr/iStock     If you’ve ever looked into buying a condo, you’ve noted that, in addition to your monthly mortgage payment and property taxes, you’ll be required to pay m... Continue Reading »

One of the ‘best places to live’ in the country is just outside Portland

Schools, affordable homes, good jobs and a melting pot of ethnic and cultural diversity all make Beaverton one of the best places to live in the entire country. So says Money Magazine, which recent... Continue Reading »

Portland’s residential market feels a late-summer chill

Summer's not officially over yet, but a slight chill has visited Portland's residential real estate market, at least according to the latest numbers from theRegional Multiple Listing Service. In it... Continue Reading »

What Is Escrow? How It Keeps Home Buyers and Sellers Safe

Dale Taylor/iStock     Buying a house can involve big and scary terms, and “escrow” ranks near the top. So what is escrow, anyway?   The good news is that e... Continue Reading »

5 home design trends defining 2016

  Home design fads come and go — think avocado-hued appliances, iconic Southwest images dipped in pastels and wall-to-wall chevron — but trends, often born out of lifestyle shifts, h... Continue Reading »

5 Maintenance Skills Every Homeowner Should Know

Maintaining a home, especially an older one, can be expensive—in fact, experts say homeowners should be prepared to spend roughly 1 percent of their home’s value every year on maintenance. &nbs... Continue Reading »

7 Portland events coming up to welcome the changing season

The kids are back at school, the forecast calls for rain, and the grocery stores are already hocking Halloween candy. Fall must be on its way. Ring in the changing season with these seven events in an... Continue Reading »

Why houses in America are getting smaller

Size matters, especially in housing, but preferences can change quickly, and that is the case today. Small is happening in a big way. For the first time since the recession, home ... Continue Reading »

Portland Visitors Guide to the best of Multnomah Village

Multnomah Village is the heart of its Southwest Portland neighborhood, but this enclave of parents and families has its draws for visitors as well. For your next trip, here are the best places to drin... Continue Reading »

5 Rookie Mistakes Homebuyers Should Avoid

  Everyone makes mistakes. It happens. However, the impact of our mistakes is not always the same. When a homebuyer makes mistakes on their home purchase, it can have devastating e... Continue Reading »