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8 Tips for Designing the Perfect Outdoor Kitchen

Designing The Perfect Outdoor Kitchen

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Designing an outdoor kitchen will not only provide homeowners with a lovely area to spend their time, but it will also enrich their overall home experience. Furthermore, owing to its popularity in the world of design, a stunning outdoor kitchen may even increase the value of a home at the time of sale. If a homeowner has decided to create their own cooking area for al fresco dining and entertainment,...

Five Ways Buying a Condo Can Change the Way You Live

Five Perks of the Condominium LifestyleWhile some may call condominiums ‘overpriced apartments' or not consider them to be as ‘good' as a single-family dwelling, there are actually quite a few perks of condo living. In fact, there are a number of solid reasons to buy a condo, ranging from the quality of community life and amenities to their convenient location and potential as investments. Here are five condominium pros to think about before eliminating these types of homes as a potential option.

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Are You Ready to Buy a Home? Here's What You Need to Know

Are You Ready to Buy? A Renter's GuideA lot of renters set their sights on homeownership. In fact, it's said that 80% of millennial renters in the United States plan to own a home someday. People who have always rented often have a hard time judging when it's time to buy. Purchasing property takes time, commitment and most of all, money. Knowing what's needed can help renters determine when they're ready to buy a house.

You'll Need Money Up Front...

Landscaping Ideas for the Modern Home

Popular Ways to Rethink Home LandscapingSavvy homeowners oftentimes look for ways of increasing a home's value, earning them a greater return upon sale. Improving a home's landscaping is one way to increase its value by helping to boost overall curb appeal, as well as improve homeowner enjoyment of the property. The trick is to create a practical balance that works for the people who live in the home. These ideas help homeowners maximize space and use of their yards.

Contrasting Landscaping and Hardscaping...

How to Apply for a USDA Home Loan

How to Apply for A USDA Home LoanUSDA loans are special loans offered by the government for people who want to move out of the city and into the more rural towns and communities across the US. They're notorious for providing extreme financial incentives for families who may be struggling. Ultimately, the government wants to revitalize communities by tempting people to live in the great wide open. For those who don't mind living outside the city limits, it may be time to find out what it takes to secure one of these loans.

Minimum Requirements

There is no down payment required when it comes to a USDA loan because the government is backing...

How to Design a Home Showing for a Better Offer

How to Design a Home Showing for a Better OfferA home showing doesn't have to have shock value to be memorable but that doesn't mean a seller shouldn't consider the ways in which they can make their home stand out. No matter how cookie-cutter a home may seem to the seller, there are ways to highlight its best features to encourage enthusiasm (and ultimately, better offers for the home.)

A Fresh Perspective

No matter what season the seller puts their home on the market, they'll need to make their home look as fresh as possible—starting with the outside. Flowerbeds, walkways, fences, yards, door stoops, and windows all need...

5 Best Budget-Friendly Flooring Options

“Cost

When it comes time to replace a home’s flooring, there are a multitude of different options that can suit all needs and preferences. However, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by high prices. For those who are working with a budget or just want to be budget-conscious, here are five affordable flooring options to spruce up any home to renovate or sell.

Installing Linoleum Flooring

For homeowners who want a floor that isn’t going to require special cleaning to keep it looking it best, linoleum may be a good choice. It’s sturdy and low maintenance, and it can even come in just about any style...

Definitive Guide to Private Mortgage Insurance

PMI Guide for HomebuyersHomebuyers who make down payments less than 20 percent on a home often must purchase private mortgage insurance (PMI) before lenders will approve a home mortgage loan. PMI protects lenders from losing thousands of dollars if borrowers fail to make house payments and foreclose on their homes. Private Mortgage Insurance is also required if borrowers refinance mortgages that have less the 20 percent equity.

How Much Does Private Mortgage Insurance Cost?

Annual fees vary for PMIs from 0.3 percent to 1.5 percent of original loans. PMI costs also ...

5 Devices To Make Your Home Smart

5 Devices That Can Make Any Home SmartThese days, it’s impossible to walk into any sort of store that sells electronics without seeing some sort of smart device for the home. From thermostats to refrigerators, if there’s a way to connect it to a smart phone, it can be found and purchased. For those who have trouble keeping up with technology as it moves forward at the speed of life, here are five essential smart devices for homeowners who may be looking to add value to their home or even improve their home's energy efficiency not know where to start.

Smart Thermostats

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How to Use the 203k Loan to Your Advantage

Understanding the 203k FHA LoanA 203k loan is a way for home buyers to both buy a home and fix it up without being subjected to outrageous interest rates. This is a specific type of FHA loan created to stimulate homeownership rates and bring attention to some of the nation's more decrepit neighborhoods. It takes a lot of gumption to buy a home in need of repairs, and the government would like to see more of that go-getter attitude. See how to use the 203k loan to your advantage, so you can end up in the home (and the block) of your dreams.

How 203k Loans Work

A 203k loan isn't the same as a typical FHA loan, although they are granted through the...

What You Need to Know About Making a Down Payment on a Home

Learn the Basics of Making a Down Payment on a HomeA down payment on a home is money given to a mortgage or other lending company by someone wanting to purchase a Buda home. The purpose of a down payment is to reduce the amount borrowed by the home buyer from the lending company and to potentially decrease monthly mortgage payments. Down payments are always expressed as a percentage of what needs to be borrowed to buy a home.

Down Payments Explained

For example, if a couple wants to buy a home costing $100,000 and they have $3000 available to use as down payment, they will need to borrow $97,000 from a mortgage...

Understanding VA Loans: A Guide to Alternative Home Financing for Military and Veterans

Understanding VA LoansVA loans are perfect for those in the US military who want to purchase a home without breaking the bank. These loans don't require the potential home buyer to make a major down payment, which is usually the biggest hurdle in purchasing a home. VA loans may be made through private lenders, but they're backed (up to a certain amount) by the VA, provided the applicant meet all of the requirements.

Eligibility Requirements

Veterans Affairs (VA) loans are available to any active or formerly active member of the military. Certain spouses of deceased military members are also eligible, if their spouse passed away due to injuries sustained...

FHA Home Loan Basics: What Homebuyers Should Know About the FHA Loan

FHA Home Loan BasicsIt can be hard to come up with a 20 percent down payment. However, this does not mean that prospective homeowners need to delay getting into a first home. Lenders do prefer a larger down payment but will approve a home mortgage with a smaller down payment.

Homeowners can put as little as 3.5 percent and step into their first home. Learn more about FHA home loans and how you may qualify today.

Own Your First Home

FHA loans make it more affordable for individuals to own their first Buda new home without continuing to save...

What You Need to Know About Conventional Mortgages

What You Need to Know About Conventional MortgagesGetting a conventional mortgage may sound simple enough, but there are more than a few twists in turns that home buyers should be aware of. Conventional loans aren't backed by the federal government, meaning if a buyer defaults on the loan, it's the lender's responsibility to pick up the slack. Because of this, lenders have a few more stipulations than they would for secured loans. Learn about the most recent changes for loans, what buyers need before applying for a loan, and what lenders are looking for in potential candidates.

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High ROI Home Improvements For Home Sellers

High ROI Home Improvements For Home SellersWhen you're trying to sell your home, strategic home improvement projects can help boost your home's resale value. Home improvement projects can also help make your home stand out among the competition in your area. Knowing what to upgrade and which projects deliver the highest ROI can help you get started.

Deck Addition

Deck additions are relatively low in cost but they have a high ROI, which makes this type of home improvement a favorite among home sellers. With over 80 percent ROI, deck additions deliver great...

Real Estate SEO: 5 Critical Steps to Building a Real Estate Website

solid real estate SEO

No matter what Google and other experts say, the real estate SEO world remains obsessed with backlinks, and too often, how to take shortcuts. The hope of quick organic rankings is oh-so-tempting - and unfortunately, memories are short. I have to wonder how many real estate SEO’s who first suffered the effects of Penguin, have re-focused their efforts towards creating and promoting great content in the past 2 years. Certainly Penguin’s favorite playmate “Panda” is not forgotten… is it?

Building a well-structured website with unique...

Capital Gains Tax and the Sale of Your Home

Homeowners interested in selling a primary residence may want to know more about the capital gains tax and applicable exclusions to avoid handing over a chunk of the profits to Uncle Sam. Whether a seller is able to qualify for a full or partial exclusion, either translates to less money given to the IRS.

Learn more about capital gains tax and full and partial exemptions on the sale of a home today.

What is Capital Gains Tax?

This is a tax on the profit from the sale of a home or other major asset. If a homeowner has owned their home for over one year, any profit would be a “long term” capital gains and the rate of taxation would depend on the seller's tax bracket. Significant exemptions exist for those selling a primary residence. However, those...

5 Mistakes Buyers Make When Purchasing a Fixer-Upper

Fixer Upper Home Buying MistakesFixer-upper homes may need special attention that move-in ready homes don’t, but for some buyers, that’s what makes them perfect. However, all buyers interested in a fixer-upper home should be aware of common mistakes other buyers have made. Here are five easy mistakes to make when buying a fixer-upper home and how to avoid them.

1. Paying Too Much

A large part of the appeal of fixer-upper homes is that they cost far less than move-in ready homes. However, that discount is necessary because fixer-upper homes require so much work to bring them up to date and make them livable. So why would a buyer pay the same amount of money for a fixer-upper as they would...

Eco-Friendly Strategies for a Green Home

Green energy is the way of the future: now more than ever, homeowners are becoming conscious of the environment and what they can do to reduce their carbon footprint. Here are different strategies homeowners can use to help make their home environmentally friendly and use less energy.

Use LED Lightbulbs

Light Emitting Diode (LED) lightbulbs have been around for a while now, but they are a tried and true method for making a home just a little bit greener. Not only do LED bulbs use less energy than their CFL counterparts, but they also have a smaller impact on the environment when they’ve been disposed of. LED lightbulbs also use less electricity than normal CFL bubs and last much longer, meaning homeowners get to save money on replacement bulbs and electricity...

Is Home Staging Worth It?

When selling a home, how it looks is key. Both inside and out, everything from how the furniture is arranged to the color of the paint impact what buyers think of the home. For homeowners who want to help give their home an edge on the housing market, staging is an option that can help homeowners make their home as appealing as possible to buyers. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of home staging homeowners should keep in mind when planning to stage their home or hire someone to stage their home.

Disadvantages of Home Staging

One of the biggest disadvantages home staging has is that it can potentially cost a lot of money and be time consuming. Home stagers will charge just to meet with potential clients, and that can cost anywhere from $150-400. If the homeowner decides to work with the stager, they will then have to cover the cost of furniture, which will vary depending on how much furniture is needed and how long...

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