U.S. home resales raced to a one-year high in September, the latest indication the housing market recovery is gradually getting back on track. The National Association of Realtors said existing home sales increased 2.4 percent to an annual rate of 5.17 million units, the strongest reading since September of last year. That was above economists’ expectations for a rise to a 5.10 million unit pace and more than reversed August’s decline, which had pushed down sales to a 5.05 million unit pace. Housing is slowly regaining its footing after activity stalled in the second half of 2013 following a run-up in mortgage rates. While it continues to be hobbled by sluggish wage growth, a recent decline in mortgage rates should help support sales. [Read this article]
I’m sure most of us can relate to simply being too busy to cook dinner. You have those nights where ordering pizza just makes the most sense whether you are eating alone or need to feed your family. The question is what do you do with those leftover slices? Are they going to be as good reheated?
If you’ve ever tried to reheat pizza in the microwave you know that doesn’t turn out so well. Sure, it’s quick but you end up with a soggy piece of pizza. The best thing to do is put it in the oven. Okay, new question. How long do you put it in the oven for? It seems there is a lot to think about just to reheat pizza!
We have a tip for you to take the headache out of reheating pizza! Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and put the pizza in immediately. DO NOT wait for the oven to preheat first. As soon as the oven is preheated, your pizza is ready. It’s that simple!
Check out our How To U video to see it in action.
In a recent article, Forbes highlighted the growing need for multigenerational housing in America today. Now, boomers have more attractive living options for sharing households, whether it’s to provide housing for their parents or to move in with their grown children and grandkids. The idea of multigenerational housing is as old as humanity. But mostly that has entailed sharing the same living space. According to a 2010 Pew Research report, 20% of people 65 and older live in a multigenerational household, and the numbers are growing. In response, major developers are getting into the multigenerational act. Lennar, a Miami-based developer, offers a line of homes with “NextGen” suites that include a private entrance, living room, eat-in kitchenette, bedroom and bath. [Read this article]
For first-time homebuyers, the whole homebuying process may look a bit daunting. You’re going into what could be the biggest purchase of your life with no experience to fall back on. The good news is a little preparation can go a long way and help you approach this major decision with confidence. Many things have changed in recent decades about the way Americans buy and sell homes, but one adage still matters, a lot: location, location, location. While you may be happy living in any of several neighborhoods in your city, you won’t be happy if you choose the wrong location. And that’s where your research should start: deciding exactly where you want to live. Talk to friends and co-workers, drive around town, visit restaurants and stores and talk to neighbors in areas you’d consider calling home. And get your finances in order first. Avoid emptying your bank account for your down payment and closing costs. [Read this article]
For the third time this year, nationwide housing starts surpassed the million-mark, according to newly released figures from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. Total housing production in September rose 6.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.017 million units. “These numbers show starts returning to levels we saw earlier this summer, where they hovered around one million units,” said NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly. “We are hopeful this pattern of modest growth will continue as we close out the year.” According to NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe: “I expect we will see a continued recovery as job creation grows and consumers gain more confidence in the housing market.” Single-family housing starts were up 1.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 646,000 units in August, while multifamily production climbed 16.7 percent to 371,000 units. [Read this article]
Most people heading into retirement inevitably make some sort of real estate decision – whether they downsize, relocate to a different community or make renovations to an existing home that makes the place more accessible to live in as they get older. So, not surprisingly, there are numerous real estate mistakes people in this group make. “Real estate is usually one of the biggest assets retirees have, but it’s the area with the most emotional attachment – and a place where it’s very easy to mess up,” said Larry Luxenberg, managing partner with Lexington Avenue Capital Management. This article covers some common retiree real estate stumbles, including not downsizing soon enough, not investing the downsizing proceeds, and not researching an area before relocating. [Read this article]
In our busy and hectic world, finding a way to relax is essential. Picking a hobby you enjoy and engaging in it regularly is a great way to wind down from a tough week. But if you’re not careful, there’s a chance your favorite diversion could hurt your credit score. This article covers four popular pastimes that could put your score in jeopardy if you make the wrong moves, including traveling, shopping, reading and gardening/home improvement. Use these tips to keep your credit on the straight and narrow, no matter how you like to spend your free time. [Read this article]
Mortgage interest rates took a dive to a 16-month low during a quiet week that included the Columbus Day bank holiday on Monday. The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 4.01 percent from 4.18 percent last week, according to the Bankrate.com national survey of large lenders. The last time it was lower was May 29, 2013, at 3.99 percent. One year ago, that rate was 4.42 percent. Four weeks ago, it was 4.33 percent. Whether lenders might have room to drop rates a bit further is an open question. Rates might remain range-bound for the remainder of the year, barring a major shift in the U.S. economy or global political situation, says Kirk Chivas, chief operating officer at First Commerce Financial. Consumers were slightly more optimistic about housing in September compared with August, according to the results of Fannie Mae’s latest monthly telephone poll of 1,000 U.S. homeowners and renters. The percentage of respondents who said now was a good time to buy a home hit 68 percent in September, a 4-point rise from August. [Read this article]
Here are some essential fall maintenance tips to get your home and yard in top shape for winter. Adjust ceiling fans to rotate clockwise in the cold weather. Simply flipping a switch on the fan housing will change the rotational direction and allow the paddles to better circulate heat produced by your HVAC. The result? You’ll feel much warmer for a minimal cost. And be sure to clean your gutters. Remove the fall’s accumulation of dead leaves, pine needles, and twigs by hand (wear sturdy work gloves) or with a trowel. Then scoop out any residue from asphalt roofing shingles. When relatively clear, flush the gutters and the downspouts with water from your garden hose. Also, rake up the remaining fallen leaves to let your lawn breathe and to promote revitalization of cool season grasses like bluegrass or fescue. Dethatch and aerate the lawn. If you haven’t already done so, bring potted plants inside till spring. [Read this article]
The Federal Trade Commission released a study in 2013 that revealed 1 in 4 consumers found errors on their credit reports that could affect their credit scores, but the general public doesn’t seemed concerned. In fact, a year later, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reported that fewer than 1 in 5 Americans check their credit report in any given year. What most people probably don’t realize is that not checking their credit report and disputing errors regularly could be costing them thousands of dollars in interest. This sample credit report includes descriptions of what to look for and how to spot red flags. [Read this article]