When It Makes Sense To DIY

Many homeowners enjoy DIY, or Do-it-Yourself, home improvement projects. There’s nothing quite like the pride of knowing you used your own hands to put together or improve something. With the explosion of social media sites such as YouTube, Pinterest,and TikTok, spending a weekend on DIY projects seems easier than ever before. After just a couple of minutes spent searching, you can find a step-by-step tutorial, before and after photos, or a time-lapse video of any project imaginable. Anyone can do this! Right? Not so fast. In some cases, it may not make sense to DIY. How do you decide whether it will be worth the elbow grease or if you should leave it to the professionals? To DIY Or Not To DIY Building, fixing, painting,...

Read More

Home Improvement Projects For The Quarantined

If you have paid attention to the news recently, you have probably heard about the coronavirus pandemic which also goes by the name COVID-19. Those who are exposed to the virus might be asked to place themselves in quarantine. Some states have even told their residents to shelter in place. While this infection has forced everyone to change the way they live their lives, there are still some home improvement projects you can tackle during quarantine to put your free time to use. Jump On Spring Cleaning One of the first home improvement projects people need to tackle is spring cleaning. Spring is right around the corner so it is time to sort through items that aren’t needed anymore. Start with the wardrobe closet and...

Read More

Turn Your Yard Into An All-Seasons Living Space

Think of backyard space as “in-between” or transitional space that is a bit like being inside while being outside. Sunrooms, screened-in covered patios, outdoor kitchens, spas, fire pits and more, are all becoming very popular ways to make more use of the backyard. Making use of the outside area is not limited to only the times of the year that have nice, warm weather. Sitting around a fire pit, with a blazing fire in it, is a perfect way to spend a chilly winter evening under the stars. This is a bit like camping out, without having to leave the comfort of your home. Here are some tips about how to turn your backyard space into a comfortable and functional transitional area. Landscaping Install shade...

Read More

Home Sales Are Spiking, Driven By Low Mortgage Rates

According to data from the National Association of Realtors, existing-home sales increased by 3.6% in December 2019. That pace is the strongest month-over-month in almost two years, since February 2018. The sales figures were also up 10.8% from what they were in December 2018. What’s behind this uptick? The biggest factor driving the surge in home sales is historically low mortgage interest rates.  Plummeting Rates During the last week of February 2020, mortgage rates fell to their lowest in three years and were hovering – just barely – above all-time lows. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was sitting at 3.45%, almost exactly one percentage point below the same week in 2019. Its lowest rate ever, 3.31%, was reached in November 2012 immediately following the recession. Despite...

Read More

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week -March 23rd , 2020

Last week’s economic reports included readings from the National Association of Home Builders on housing market conditions, Commerce Department readings on housing starts and building permits issued and  National Association of Realtors® reporting on sales of previously-owned homes. The Federal Reserve canceled the scheduled meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee and Fed Chair’s press conference, but the Fed did lower its target federal funds rate early in the week. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and initial jobless claims were also released.  Builder Confidence, Housing Starts and Building Permits Decrease Builder confidence in housing market conditions dropped two index points to 72 in March. Readings over 50 indicate that most builders are confident about housing market conditions. Component readings of the Housing Market Index were...

Read More

Paying Rent And Mortgages With A Credit Card

When people purchase a house, they usually set up their mortgage payments as a direct draft out of a checking account. The same is typically true of rent payments; however, many people have wondered if there was another way to pay rent or mortgage. After all, there are credit cards out there that have fantastic rewards. It would be great to take advantage of these rewards by placing rent and mortgage payments on a card. Sadly, there is no way to pay rent or mortgage with a credit card without a fee. There are bank interchange fees that would lead to a surcharge for banks and landlords. This prevents them from readily accepting credit cards without a fee. What if there was a better way?...

Read More