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March 20, 2019

How to Lock Your Mortgage Rate

Today it takes an average of 45 days for a mortgage lender to process an application from a home buyer or an owner who is refinancing. These days interest rates rise and fall quickly for reasons that are impossible to anticipate.

If you are waiting on a mortgage approval, it seems unfair to pay a higher interest rate than the rate that was in effect the day you applied.

Even a small increase in your interest rate can be expensive. On a $300,000 30-yr fixed rate mortgage at 4 percent, an increase of just two basis points, to 4.2 percent, would increase monthly payments from  $1,779 to $1,814, and the total cost of your mortgage would rise by $21,000.

You [...]

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March 20, 2019

Take a Hike: Trails to Blaze this Spring

Put a Spring in Your Step with These Top 7 Hiking Spots

Take spring in stride by heading outdoors for a walk or hike. Hiking is great for burning calories and exposes you to natural scenery while walking is a gentle yet effective addition to any exercise routine. Both can be budget-friendly, mood-enhancing and adaptable to skill level and schedule. All you really need is sun protection, comfortable shoes (terrain-appropriate) and a supply of water. That said, make sure to check weather forecasts and trail information before you head out.

Spring is often a time of year when the weather is cool enough that you won’t get overheated if you go out mid-day. Lingering [...]

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March 20, 2019

2019 Trends in Home Improvement Worth Investing In

These standout 2019 home improvement trends yield solid ROI and fall in line with this year's standards of sustainability. Learn what projects make sense.
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March 19, 2019

5 DIY Home Security Tips for Renters

Roughly 1.4 million homes were broken into in the US in 2017, according to the FBI. If you’re a renter, home security isn’t something to compromise on, especially if your property manager may not have your security covered. Renters who aren’t on a strict budget may still be unable to alter their apartments with a home security system. This is where a DIY security system works best. Protect yourself and your property from burglary and theft with these simple, cost-effective DIY security measures.

1. Check Out Your Neighborhood and Property

If you’re still looking for a place to rent or you already have a place, it pays to do a security check of your own. Save yourself time and [...]

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March 19, 2019

Home Ownership Trends in 2019, By Age and Income

Taking the plunge into homeownership can be daunting, especially for first-time buyers. There are seemingly endless options when it comes to selecting where to live, what type of home to buy, and understanding all the money-related facets to home buying. Housing market trends are constantly changing due to price and preference fluctuations, such as home design popularity and neighborhood values rising and falling.

As these trends change, they impact home buying among all generations and income levels. The ways we approach homeownership vary from person to person. Online home improvement network Porch recently conducted a study to identify what these home buying trends actually [...]

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March 19, 2019

Kimora Lee Simmons Leases Out Palatial Beverly Hills Mansion

Looking to rent a mansion in the most sought-after zip code in the world? Retired model and fashion mogul Kimora Lee Simmons has put her Beverly Hills estate on the rental market.
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March 18, 2019

Avoid Home Insurance Claims With These Spring Cleaning Tips

With warmer weather comes the opportunity to get your home in top shape. Performing spring maintenance on your home isn’t just a smart move for fixing up its appearance or sanitizing the place. Cleaning can also prevent damages and fortify your living area.

A safer home means it’s less likely you’ll have to file a home insurance claim, and that’s more than enough reason to start your spring cleaning projects. Check out these tips for productive spring cleaning.

1. Check Kitchen and Bathroom Caulk

To steer clear of water damage, keep an eye on the caulk around your home. Over time, the caulk in your bathroom and kitchen can deteriorate, [...]

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March 18, 2019

What It Looks Like to Rent on a $40,000 Salary In These US Cities

If you make $40,000 per year, certain cities will be more accommodating to your lifestyle, especially when it comes to rent. Here's what you can expect.
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March 15, 2019

House Hunting for the Undead

Have recently found yourself undead? Congratulations! The world is your oyster, and we’re pretty confident you have a new lease on life, or something like it. Now that you’re undead, it’s time to update your living space, after all, your life is most likely very different now. If you’re a fan of the popular Netflix series “The Santa Clarita Diet,” you’ll know that the main character, Sheila Hammond, has found herself in a similar predicament. Although she acts alive, she is very much so dead. (No pulse, no big deal!) She is controlled by impulses and has a strange desire to only dine on human flesh, which, to say in the least, causes a bit of havoc for her and her family. As they [...]

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March 15, 2019

Softening Demand Is Slowing Santa Clarita Sales

The Santa Clarita Valley is in the process of slowly moving from a seller’s market to a buyer’s. Unaffordability has driven down demand and sales fell as a result. Combined sales fell by 1.1 percent, while the dollar volume was off by nearly 6 percent from 2017. In addition, supplies rose steadily, reducing upward pressure on prices causing sales to fall mostly in the higher home price range.

As demand slowed, inventories for homes for sale rose during the year. Supplies also rose as a result of sellers acting before prices peaked.  In southern California, unaffordability motivated 28 percent of homeowners to move out of their county, softening demand further. In [...]

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March 15, 2019

How Much Good Does Good Credit Do?

The best way for home buyers to fight back against rising mortgage rates is to maintain the best possible credit score and credit history. Lenders offer lower mortgage rates to borrowers with higher scores because they are a lower risk. Good credit can lower your rate by a full percentage point or more and reduce your monthly mortgage payment by hundreds of dollars.

Buyers who heed this advice spend many months making sure they pay every bill on time, avoiding large balances on revolving credit accounts and maintaining credit card accounts for many years. They monitor their credit on sites like Credit Karma or Wallet to see how they are doing and to correct any reporting [...]

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March 14, 2019

How to Prepare for a Cross-Country Move

Whether you’re relocating for a job or moving to be closer to family, uprooting your home, career, and all your belongings and relocating them thousands of miles away can seem like a daunting task. Rather than getting buried under a mountain of worry and scrambling to meet tight timelines, start breaking down your cross-country move into stages and making progress one item at a time.

The moving checklist below can help you complete monumental tasks by staging them in sensible increments. As you check off boxes, you may also discover a mounting sense of excitement as you get ready to embark on your next adventure.

1. Find a New Home

Of course, any cross-country move [...]

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