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June 27, 2017

Hardwood Floors 101

Whether you are prepping a house for selling or simply want to upgrade your home, installing new hardwood flooring is a surefire way to improve the look of your home and potentially raise your resale value!

Hardwood flooring has experienced extreme popularity in the last decade or two. It’s safe to say that hardwood floors can be found in most new homes. While the living room area is the most popular area for hardwoods, you can find hardwoods in bedrooms, kitchens, bathrooms and on staircases. Here is a guide to help decipher the many varieties of hardwoods available!

Real Wood or Laminate?

If budget isn’t a concern, real wood is the best option to increase [...]

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June 26, 2017

How Amazon Is Helping Shape the Future of 5 States

Amazon’s Economic Development Is Growing: Good News for the Housing Market

Amazon has grown from an online bookseller to the largest Internet retailer in the world. And just recently, the company has turned its eye to the grocery business, with its aim of acquiring Whole Foods for a jaw-dropping $13.7 billion.

It can be said with some confidence that Amazon’s multi-level sales strategy is helping the company reach heights never thought imaginable. But, that’s not the only thing that’s driving Amazon’s growth.

The company’s economic development team has quietly worked to secure millions of dollars in tax credits and incentives to help [...]

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June 26, 2017

5 Tips to Save for a Down Payment

Did you know that you can do 100% financing to purchase a home? Many purchasers still believe that in order to purchase a home, you MUST have at least 20% saved up for down payment. Actually, there are several loan options that allow for shoppers to do 100% financing (VA, USDA, and VHDA to name a few). Even though there are $0 down options, it’s still extremely wise to have a large down payment saved up for your purchase. There are many benefits of a large down payment, so here are five quick tips on how you can go about saving up for one.

First and foremost, you need to open a savings account. A mortgage lender isn’t going to want to see cash stuffed in a [...]

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June 23, 2017

7 Add-ons for Waterside Homes

Nothing says summer quite like splashing around in the water. And whether it’s on a lake or the ocean, no good home on the water goes unappreciated in summer. If you’re one of the lucky few owners of a lake or beach house, your summer is probably already packed full of weekend visits and house guests. That being said, if you have a free weekend or two, maybe you should consider adding one of the following crazy home add-ons to make sure yours is the hottest house on the water this summer.

Outdoor shower

via Woo Home

via [...]

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June 22, 2017

Types of Roofs That Can Lower Cooling Costs

Whether you’re planning a roof upgrade or total replacement, one thing is certain — you’re about to make a significant investment. Luckily, current roofing options allow you to understand the benefit of your investment immediately, and perhaps even increase it over time.

Types of Roofs

Consider a Cool Roof

Cool roofs reflect sunlight by design, allowing for decreased heat absorption. Depending on the type of roof you choose, cool roofs can >decrease surface heat by as much as 50-60 degrees. This effect trickles down into the home, creating more comfort inside with less energy usage and subsequent cost.

What are the most cost-effective cool roof [...]

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June 22, 2017

How Does Your ZIP Code Cost You Money?

Is your future ZIP code going to cost you money, or save you money? Will the ZIP code of your new house increase the cost of your car insurance, or decrease it? Will your child get a good education, or a poor one depending on the ZIP code? Will you pay more, or less, down the road for hotel rooms, clothes, cars or transportation?

A “cost of living analysis” by two large realty companies discovered that living in the suburbs versus living in the city does impact your cost of living – by thousands of dollars. Families living in the city will end up spending more than their country cousins. According to Care.com, city dwellers in Chicago and Dallas show a difference [...]

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June 21, 2017

5 Wonderfilet Delicious Cities for Seafood Lovers

It’s summer, which means… great seafood! But for some people, waiting around for their favorite fish to come into season just isn’t enough. If you’re a seafood aficionado, you’re in luck – the U.S. enjoys some of the widest variety of fish options in the world–from the blue oceans of Hawaii to the lobster traps of Maine, there’s something for just about everyone. So pack your bib and butter, these five cities offer great seafood options, along with amazing fishing for anyone who likes to catch their own dinner.

1. Portland, Maine

Nothing says shellfish like New England. Portland may be famous for its lobster and clam, but the [...]

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June 20, 2017

Summer Fun on Mackinac Island

Known as the jewel of the Great Lakes, Mackinac Island, Michigan is America’s all-natural theme park. This beautiful island is located in Lake Huron and is a trendy destination for rental properties. The town has a rich history and is a popular tourist destination for sports fishermen, nature enthusiasts, and summer cottage getaways. In the 1890s, tourists began bringing their noisy horseless carriages (also known as cars) to the island, and local residents rebelled. The city passed a ban on cars for personal use, which still exists today! Instead of driving, you can walk, bike, or take a ride in one of the city’s horse-drawn carriages and taxis.

Mackinac Island [...]

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