Let’s be honest, there aren’t too many “fun” stories that come out about homes or the housing market, but, heading into the holiday weekend, Money magazine came out with a great one! They grabbed some information on 8 former presidential residences, from Washington’s Mount Vernon to the Eisenhower home (just like Dwight, not to have a name for his), and then grabbed some comps on similarly sized homes in today’s market. Some of them are unsurprising (we know Monticello wouldn’t be cheap), but some of them are surprisingly modestly priced (hypothetically speaking).
Many of you have already slipped away from town, tucking on a few extra days to the weekend. But whether you’re one of those lucky ones, or are working today and just planning to hang out in the back yard with friends tomorrow, we wish you a very happy and very safe Independence Day. And in order to make sure you stay safe, no matter what your plans for the weekend, here are some tips from the Red Cross. It covers fireworks, swimming, and sun. Also, it turns out the Red Cross has a first-aid mobile app. Check out the article, and download it — better safe than sorry!
Sometimes, you don’t have a lot of choice about when you sell your home. Maybe you’re relocating for work, and it has to be sold right now! And this blog has covered several times recently the fact that you shouldn’t try and time the market. But, if you have the luxury of choosing when to sell your home, summer may well be the right choice. @brunc222 is a social-media and web editor over in the U.K., and he’s put together a list of 5 reasons that summer is the best time to sell. And the reasons are equally true on this side of the pond.
Well, it’s taken a long time, but home sales are back at the top! For over a year now, everyone has been claiming recovery, but a “recovery” never feels real until it has surpassed the previous highs. We see it with the stock market all the time. The market “recovers”, but takes a while longer to surpass the previous high. For home sales, we just surpassed the April, 2006, number — the high prior to the Great Recession. Let the good times roll!
With summer officially over a week old, it’s probably time to start planning out your maintenance schedule. For some of you, this may be an annoying chore; for others, an exciting opportunity to spend some quality time on the DIY projects you love so much. But, whichever side of that line you’re on, the fact remains that home maintenance needs to be done, and it’s often best and easiest to break it up into seasonally-appropriate projects. Here’s a checklist to make sure you get to everything you need this summer (as a bonus, price estimates are included!).
As everyone learned in 2008, the bank that issues your initial mortgage may not keep it for very long. Banks sell bundles of mortgages, and the servicing of mortgages. Unquestionably, much improvement has come since the big meltdown. However, many big banks still aren’t complying with customer-service standards imposed in 2011. But it’s not all bad news. Although regulators have now restricted Wells Fargo, Chase, U.S. Bancorp, Santander Bank, EverBank Financial Corp. and HSBC Holdings; they’ve also lifted restrictions on 3 large banks that have made improvements.
To be completely honest, we’ve never heard of the website Networx, but if you’re into home remodeling, it might not be a bad place to start. They have a giant section devoted to it — in fact, they have fifteen sub-sections! This article, with 13 tips on how to save money during your next home improvement project is a good example. It breaks the tips down into four categories: Getting Started, Materials, Labor, and Financial Help. Each contains a few good tips, so if you’re planning a project, check out the article, and the site in general.
So far this week, mortgage rates are generally up. But last week, they were down because of the threat of Greece defaulting on its debts. Everyone knows that even the experts are terrible at market timing, but in today’s global economy, where tiny blips on the other side of the world can impact things here at home, it’s particularly crazy.
It may seem unnecessary to point out that any information you submit on your mortgage application needs to be accurate — nevertheless, it bears repeating. As the St. Louis Post-Dispatch points out, seemingly trivial errors (the dot your ‘i’s and cross your ’t’s sort) can not only impact the success of your mortgage application, they can have long-term consequences on your credit. Differences like, for example, whether your name is hyphenated the same everywhere make a difference to the computers that compute credit scores. Take the extra time to double check everything — it’s time well spent.
Now that it’s officially summer, and the kids are all on vacation, people are starting to travel. And traveling people means one thing for sure — house guests! Good Morning America has put together a list of 5 expert tips for providing great hospitality to your guests. On the one hand, they’re fairly self-explanatory, but on the other hand, it’s always good to have a list! Plus, the article links to lots of other suggestions, from cleaning tips to self-improvement ideas. Overall, it’s a surprisingly good site to spend some time reading when you need a few minute break.