How To Make Your Home A Perfect Nesting Place

September 12, 2014

in Tips

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Making a painless transition from summer to fall is all about planning. The better we prepare our homes for the coming months of rain and cold, the less we mind it. “A hub nest for autumn and winter is a place where you do not feel anxious, and where everything is fit for purpose,” says London-based designer Caz Knight, of Weller Interior Design.The maxim “There is no such thing as bad weather, there is only inappropriate clothing” applies just as much to the home. Textures, color, lighting and just the right amount of clutter can winter-proof any room. There’s little comfort in minimalism when the skies turn gray, and this season’s home design trends – large patterns, bold colors and layered carpets – work particularly well to ward off any hint of seasonal affective disorder. [Read this article]

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Foodie Cities: Real Estate For The Restaurant Set

September 12, 2014

in Markets

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The foodie movement has reshaped residential real estate. Americans’ passion for both cooking and cuisine has spurred demand for kitchens with top-notch appliances, specialty prep areas and climate-controlled wine cellars. Many of the newest downtown residential developments are centered on the local food scene, near vibrant green markets and top-rated restaurants run by celebrity chefs. Some developers are launching rental buildings with high-end culinary amenities, aimed at younger residents who grew up with the foodie movement. Real-estate agents say the foodie angle can be a key selling point for a luxury property. [Read this article]

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The Surprising Thing Gen Z Wants To Do With Its Money

September 11, 2014

in News

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Generation Z – also known as post-millennials, born after the 1990s Internet bubble – seems to prize home ownership like no generation since their great-grandparents. An astounding 97% of post-millennials believe they will one day own a home; 82% say it is the most important part of the American dream, according to a survey of teens age 13 to 17 by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate. More than half would give up social media for a year and do double the homework if it guaranteed they’d be able to buy a house. Where millennials hardened and vowed never to repeat the errors of their parents, post-millennials sought the comfort of family and togetherness, says Sherry Chris, CEO of Better Homes and Gardens. “Many of these Gen Z teens were 7 to 11 years old when the recession hit,” Chris said. “At that age, children equate home with stability.” And the dream appears firmly grounded in reality. Chris observed that today’s teens have more information than any previous generation at their age and show early signs of financial awareness. [Read this article]

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Housing Markets With The Largest Increases In Asking Prices

September 10, 2014

in Markets,News

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Nationally, the month-over-month increase in asking home prices rose to 1.0% in August, up a bit from 0.7% in July. Asking prices rose 7.8% year-over-year, slower than one year ago, in August 2013, when asking prices were up 9.9% year-over-year. At the local level, asking prices rose year-over-year in 96 of the 100 largest U.S. metros. Seven of the 10 U.S. metros with the largest year-over-year price increases are in the South, including the top four: Miami, Birmingham, Lakeland-Winter Haven, and West Palm Beach. In the accelerating markets of Birmingham, West Palm Beach, and Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, the year-over-year price gain in August 2013 was less than 5% and is now more than 13%. Foreclosures have shaped where and when home prices have recovered. Foreclosed homes tend to depress neighboring home values and sell at a discount. But once most of the foreclosures in a market are sold, then overall inventory tightens – especially at the low end – giving home prices a boost. Now, even judicial states are seeing the light at the end of the foreclosure tunnel and are getting their own price boost. [Read this article]

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5 Credit Score Must-Knows For Millennials

September 10, 2014

in Tips

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According to a recent survey by the Consumer Federation of America and VantageScore Solutions, 18- to 34-year-olds know less than other demographic groups about who’s looking at their credit scores, who collects the information on which scores are based, and what factors drive credit score calculations. “Millennials are less knowledgeable about credit scores simply because they have had less experience in the financial services marketplace” than older consumers, says Stephen Brobeck, executive director of the Consumer Federation of America. In order to help you avoid any pitfalls, Bankrate.com has put together a primer on credit scores and credit reports. Here’s what you absolutely must know. “The most important thing (millennials) can do to keep their scores high is to make all their credit card and other loan payments on time,” Brobeck says. [Read this article]

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6 Renting Costs That May Surprise You

September 10, 2014

in Tips

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Summer and early fall is prime moving season, so renters throughout the country may face surprises as they settle into new homes. Experienced renters know they need to budget for a security deposit, moving costs and possibly a broker fee, but here’s a look at other recurring costs that are easily overlooked, along with ways to avoid or reduce them. For example: increased energy costs. If you move from a small studio to a larger space with vaulted ceilings or floor-to-ceiling windows, the cost to heat and cool your pad may be higher. Also, many people use their cellphone instead of a landline. But if your new apartment has spotty cellphone reception, that strategy may not work. And if you have a car, don’t assume your apartment comes with free parking, especially in an urban area. [Read this article]

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U.S. Consumer Credit Soars In July With Biggest Gain Since ’01

September 9, 2014

in News

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U.S. consumer credit soared in July, posting its biggest jump since November 2001, driven in part by demand for auto loans and student borrowings. Total consumer credit increased $26.01 billion to $3.24 trillion in July, the Federal Reserve said. June’s consumer credit figure was revised up to show an $18.81 billion increase from $17.26 billion. Economists polled by Reuters had expected consumer credit to increase $17.35 billion in July. The previous record was an increase of around $28 billion recorded in November 2001, according to a Fed spokesman. “People are feeling more comfortable in their jobs, and more comfortable with the economy,” said Matt Schulz, senior industry analyst at CreditCards.com. “Too many times, we see people spend amounts of money they can’t afford,” Schulz said. “But people seem to be feeling more confident, and if they can afford the spending, then that’s great for the economy.” [Read this article]

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Use Houseplants To Create A Healthy Home

September 9, 2014

in Green Living,Tips

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Placing plants around your home does more than beautify your space – according to NASA, houseplants are actually good for your health. Here are a few tips to help you decide what plants are best for your house. For example, eucalyptus is great for congestion. It opens bronchial passages and clears mucus during colds, flu or bronchitis and is also a natural antiseptic. And if you have insomnia, plants can also help improve your night’s sleep. Gerbera daisies release oxygen at night. Place them by your bed for optimal oxygen intake while you sleep. Gerbera daisies are also great at removing benzene and trichloroethylene from the air. [Read this article]

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From The AARP Convention: Are Boomers The New Coveted Demo?

September 8, 2014

in Lennar,News

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After studying U.S. census data showing that 51 million Americans live in a multigenerational home, Lennar drew up plans for its “NextGen” home. It combines a primary residence with an attached but totally private “Home Within A Home,” outfitted with a bedroom suite, garage, great room and laundry for grandma or grandpa or even boomerang kids moving back in. Lennar’s shift to accommodate the changing way Americans are living reflects an economic reality: people 55 and over control three-fourths of the nation’s wealth, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers. “The aging of the baby boomers has set it all in motion,” said Janice Hinshaw, vice president of marketing-West for Lennar, one of the nation’s largest homebuilders. Hinshaw was on the exhibit floor at the San Diego Convention Center showing “NextGen” floor plans to some of the 8,000 or so attendees at the three-day AARP Ideas@50+ convention, which ended Saturday. [Read this article]

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14 Steps To Selling Your Home Super Fast

September 6, 2014

in Tips

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The peak homebuying season is over, but you still want to sell your house before the first snow falls. Even in a slow season, there are steps you can take to sell your home quickly. “Curb appeal is everything,” says Michael Mahon, general manager of HER Realtors in Columbus, Ohio. “Driving into the driveway and walking into that front door sets the expectations.” Another factor that’s equally important for a speedy sale: setting the right price. Many sellers think they should start the price high and then lower it later if the house fails to sell. But some agents say that’s often a recipe for a slower sale – sometimes even at a lower price. “The first 30 days’ activity of your house being on the market is always the best activity you’re going to see,” Mahon says. If the asking price is too high, many buyers and their agents will stay away, assuming you’re not serious about selling or you’re unwilling to negotiate. [Read this article]

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