Real Estate
Real Estate

How much home can you afford this spring? Factors to consider

<strong>How much home can you afford this spring? Factors to consider</strong>
(c) Pavel Losevsky/stock.Adobe.comA full rundown on all things home-buying, including free tools and resources, is available at ■ Statepoint The chicken or the egg? Which came first continues to fuel philosophical debates. But when it comes to buying a home, experts are pretty clear about the proper order of things—agreeing you should fit your mortgage to your finances, not to a house. “Before you even start your search for a home this spring, it’s crucial to know how much you can afford to pay each month,” says Freddie Mac Senior Vice President, Christina Boyle, who stresses that there are a few important things to keep in mind as you calculate (more…)
Real Estate

6 money tips for buying a home

<strong>6 money tips for buying a home</strong>
(c) Andrey Popov/stock.Adobe.comThe key is demonstrating your ability to repay the loan. ■ Statepoint When searching for a new home, you may come across some conflicting information, especially about home financing or mortgage loans. Consider these six money tips to help you navigate the process. • Know your credit profile: Your credit score may impact the interest rate or the amount of money you can borrow. Once a year, you may obtain a free copy of your credit report from each of the three credit bureaus at, the official site for free annual reports. Having great credit is certainly helpful, but not required. Homebuyer education and home loan financing programs (more…)
Real Estate

Make moving much easier

<strong>Make moving much easier</strong>
Metro ServiceThose on the cusp of moving and nervous about packing up and leaving can employ a few tricks to make moving much easier. ■ Metro Service It should come as no surprise that spring kicks off one of the busiest times of year in the housing market. Warm weather makes it more comfortable to see and display homes, leading to more listings and open houses. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average person in the United States changes residences more than 11 times in his or her lifetime. With each move, the process of moving may become more familiar. But even the most practiced nomad can find moving to (more…)
Real Estate

Interest rates are rising: Should you buy a home or wait?

<strong>Interest rates are rising: Should you buy a home or wait?</strong>
(c) Yury Zap/stock.Adobe.comIf rates jump a half percentage, you’ll pay a bit more each month, which isn’t ideal, but the added expense will unlikely be a deal-breaker. ■ StatePoint With heightened talk of rising interest rates, many prospective homebuyers are understandably concerned about whether it’s the right time to purchase a home. Indeed, you may be wondering if you waited too long and let the historically low interest rates pass you by or if you can still find a dream home that fits within your current budget. Experts say that it’s true that rates are at their highest in almost four years and that this year has been particularly rough, however, (more…)
Real Estate

Appeal to house hunters with Smart Home upgrades

<strong>Appeal to house hunters with Smart Home upgrades</strong>
StatepointImagine the convenience of having a kitchen faucet turn water on or off, without a touch. ■ StatePoint From smart thermostats to remotely controlled showers, connected homes are all the rage for today’s homeowners and those looking to make a purchase, providing easy opportunities to boost your profit when you sell. Over half of millennials (57 percent) believe that smart home technology is a good investment in their home, according to a recent survey by “Better Homes and Gardens.” Upgrading to include connected items can make your home more appealing to this “next generation” of homebuyers in particular. If you’re looking to sell, here are some of the latest and greatest (more…)
Real Estate

Innovative new looks for your kitchen renovation

<strong>Innovative new looks for your kitchen renovation</strong>
Photo: StatepointCompletely windowless, this model features a decorative country-style handrail on the oven door(s) and is available in a range of sizes and colors, from neutral tones like gloss black and matte graphite, to custom statement colors like ultramarine blue or ruby. ■ StatePoint Renovating your kitchen? Think about making updates that will add beauty and functionality to one of the most important rooms in the house. Here are a few innovative new looks and ideas to consider including in your plans. Add geometry Geometric tile designs can create a bold modernized look in your kitchen, whether you’re adding a backsplash or redoing the flooring. Get creative by adding a mosaic (more…)
Real Estate

3 ways to use your lawn to improve curb appeal

<strong>3 ways to use your lawn to improve curb appeal</strong>
Metro ServiceVarious projects, including tending to lawns and gardens, can improve curb appeal. ■ Metro Service Returns on home improvement projects vary. In its annual Cost vs. Value Report, Remodeling magazine notes the projects that yield the best returns on investment in a given year. But a host of factors, including the type of market (buyers’ or sellers’) and the region where the home is being sold, ultimately combine to determine if homeowners’ investments in home improvement projects will provide the returns they were hoping for. Though there’s no way of guaranteeing a home improvement project will yield a great return, real estate professionals often cite improving curb appeal as an (more…)
Real Estate

Major home renovations that are worth the effort

<strong>Major home renovations that are worth the effort</strong>
Jim Kruger/Steve Herder – Landmark Photography/Herder PhotographyThe right eye-catching elements can make a room pop while adding vitality to your living spaces. ■ Statepoint Building a new home? Overhauling an existing one? Here are two renovation ideas that will add beauty and value. Add a focal point Is your interior design in need of a little something? The right eye-catching elements can make a room pop while adding vitality to your living spaces. A fireplace, for example, adds ambiance and comfort while also creating a natural gathering space. What’s more, new models pair the charm of a traditional open-front fireplace with the design flexibility of gas models. The Phoenix TrueView from (more…)
Real Estate

Laundry room renovation ideas

<strong>Laundry room renovation ideas</strong>
Metro ServiceAn organized and efficient laundry room setup can make washing and drying clothes easier. ■ Metro service To former apartment dwellers or those who have never enjoyed the benefit of a dedicated laundry area, even the smallest washer and dryer space can seem like a luxury. The benefits of dedicated laundry rooms abound. However, disorganized laundry rooms can nullify such benefits. Depending on the needs and preferences of each homeowner, laundry room designs can be customized for convenience. Employ vertical space Floor space may be at a premium in a laundry room, especially for those who want to devote as much space as possible to bulk-size washer and dryer units. (more…)
Real Estate

Are Common Myths Holding You Back from Buying a Home?

<strong>Are Common Myths Holding You Back from Buying a Home?</strong>
(c) adrian_ilie825/stock.Adobe.comThere are also millions of dollars available for down payment assistance. ■ Statepoint Aspirations of home ownership is strong for America’s families, yet findings from the fifth annual America at Home survey from NeighborWorks America indicate several perceived barriers to homeownership among the majority of consumers. Findings from the survey, which consisted of 1,000 U.S. adults and 500 millennials include many misconceptions about what it takes to buy a home: • The average millennial mistakenly thinks the minimum required down payment is 21.6 percent. • Approximately 73 percent of all consumers and 62 percent of millennials said they were not aware of or are unsure about down payment assistance programs (more…)