DIY Tips From The Pros

In an attempt to save money, many people are taking on home improvement projects themselves. While the thought of doing it yourself and saving hundreds, if not thousands of dollars may be an exciting idea, not all projects should be undertaken without consulting a professional. Experts warn that most DIY projects end up taking up more time, and in the long run can cost more than if you hired a professional. There are a few things to avoid when insisting on doing a home project yourself: Be sure to measure correctly when cutting anything, turn off the water when beginning a plumbing project, let the professionals handle all electrical problems as they can be very dangerous, watch an instructional video or take a class, use correct tools, and ask plenty of questions. More here

Mortgage Rates Fall For Fifth Consecutive Week

Fixed rate mortgages have fallen once again, making this the fourth consecutive week rates have dropped. According to Freddie Mac, the average national 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell from 4.14% last week to 4.12% this week, while the average national 15-year fixed-rate mortgage decreased from 3.25% last week to 3.21% this week. Additionally, the number of Americans signing contracts to buy new homes has increased. More here

Tips To Add Curb Appeal And Value To Your Home

According to Remodeling magazine’s 2014 Cost vs. Value study, curb appeal adds significant value to a house. Simple things that make your house more pleasing to the eye can increase the return on investment greatly, and make a positive impression on visitors and potential home buyers. Experts say checking the roof for leaks, damage or missing shingles is a great starting point. Clean your homes siding. Pressure washing is an excellent way to make your house look ten years younger. Popular advice warns against pressure washing windows, trim, doors or screens as it may cause damage. Make sure your gutters are cleaned out and working efficiently. Also, spend time fixing your home’s accessory features such as shutters and trim. More here

Home Resales Hit Highest Level Since August 2012

The housing market has made positive strides toward recovery over the last few months. Home resales jumped in April, and the supply of homes for sale on the market increased to the highest level since August of 2012. According to the National Association of Realtors, existing home sales jumped 1.3% to an annual rate of 4.65 million units. Although the housing market continues to grow, first time applications for unemployment benefits increased. More here

Home Remodeling Projects That May Be Worth The Cost

Making small upgrades to your home can help increase the value of your house substantially. Even if you have no plans to sell in the near future, remodeling can increase the value for a possible sale later. Experts have put together a list of home improvements that may be worth the cost in order to increase the value of your home, such as adding a new front door or a wooden deck, doing a minor kitchen remodel, and finishing or upgrading a basement. The report also suggests upgrading your garage door, and replacing old windows to increase curb appeal and efficiency. More here

Housing Starts Up Significantly In April

Housing starts jumped last month as more construction workers began their peak working season. Housing starts increased 13.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.07 million, according to the Census Bureau. Multi-family housing construction contributed the most gains and increased 40% from the previous month while single-family starts rose 0.8% from March to April. Additionally home permits have also increased 8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.08 million. More here

Home Improvement Retailers Post Sales Increase

Home improvement retail stores say that the housing market is still on the right track despite lower sales the last few months. Retailers are saying that the harsh winter slowed sales, not a lackluster housing market.  Now that spring has arrived, sales have increased significantly. Frank Blake, the Chief Executive Officer of Home Depot said, “many indicators in the housing market have softened over the last several months, leading to the question of whether this indicates that the housing recovery has run out of steam.” Home Depot’s revenue increased 2.9% in the first quarter of this year, averaging 19.7 billion. More here

Tips To Prepare Your Home For Severe Weather

As we continue into storm and hurricane season in the U.S., experts have given a few tips to help homeowners be better prepared for strong winds, flooding, and tornadoes. Don’t wait for a warning in your area to gather flashlights, blankets, batteries, radios and water. Speak with your insurance company and ensure your home is properly insured. Secure your home with roof clips, garage door braces and window shutters. Experts also suggest getting rid of dead trees near your home to decrease tree damage to your house or vehicles. More here

Key Reverse Mortgage Considerations

New federal rules have made reverse mortgages a safer choice for a wider range of seniors. An increasing number of financial advisors and experts are now recommending reverse mortgages for seniors needing financial assistance. Advisors are striving to make these loans more attractive to seniors in hopes of growing awareness and knowledge of reverse mortgage benefits. Experts have compiled a list of things to consider when considering a reverse mortgage, such as weighing your costs and future living plans. More here

Tips To Keep Your Home Well Maintained

Experts suggest taking a few hours each week to tend to your home in order to keep it well maintained. Whether you are planning to live in your current home for the next 20 years, or are getting ready to put in on the market soon, homeowners should be actively taking care of their house to ensure proper livability to maintain the current value or raise the value for a future sale. A few things experts suggest doing during the spring season are: check your gutters for leaks to decrease the risk of water damage in your home,  fill in low areas in your yard to lower the chances of flooding which may lead to future foundation damage, check outdoor water faucets for freeze damage, and have a professional heating and cooling contractor service and clean your outdoor air unit in order to keep it working efficiently during the hot summer months. More here