Mortgage Rates Fall Lower Than Last Year

According to the most recent Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey, U.S. mortgage rates have decreased lower than rates in 2013. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged approximately 4.14% last week, down .03% from the previous week and .32% from last year. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.22%, down .28% from last year. Additionally the 5-year treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage fell from 3.08% last year to 2.98% and the 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM decreased from 2.66% last year to 2.40%. More here

Wood Fireplace And Chimney Maintenance Tips

As the summer months progress, heating a home is the last thing on most minds, but it may be a good idea to start chimney maintenance now in order to get the most effective heat from your wood-burning fireplace during the winter. A few tips that will help you maintain a clean, high-functioning, and safe wood-burning fireplace and chimney are: Professionally clean your fireplace and chimney to decrease creosote build up, inspect the chimney cap and repair if broken- this will keep out unwanted animals, debris and rain. Experts also advise installing a stainless-steel chimney liner and fireproof glass doors for extra safety. More here

Tips To Consider Before Buying A Home

There are many things to consider for before buying a first home or moving into a new home. Experts have compiled a few tips that can help you be better prepared when buying a home: Take the time to mend or maintain your credit score, which largely determines the loan amount you qualify for. Order a free credit report and then start working on ways to improve or maintain a good score. Work on decreasing credit card debt and paying down previous loans to help you look more reliable to lenders. Also, decide what kind of house you are looking for in advance, identify the features you can and cannot live without. Set a budget and stick with it and then start saving towards your budget goal. More here

Overall U.S. Foreclosure Rates Decrease

According to the Black Knight Financial Services Foreclosure Report, foreclosure rates in the United States decreased last month. The foreclosure inventory rate dropped below 2%, the lowest rate seen since mid 2008. Mortgages currently in foreclosure are down 37% year-over-year, and have gradually decreased by more than half a million when compared to May 2013. Although rates have fallen, some cities are still experiencing high foreclosure rates. More here

Deck Maintenance Tips

Having a deck can make your home much more enjoyable during warm months, but you must take proper care to ensure its safety, value, and to keep it looking well maintained. A few tips experts have provided to help you preserve your deck are: Wash your deck with appropriate cleaning supplies every year around mid-to-late spring to avoid mold and mildew. After you have thoroughly washed your deck and made sure it is dry, seal it. Replace any imperfections such as faulty nails or loose boards. Experts also recommend trimming any bushes or trees that may be close to the deck so the production of mold and moss will be terminated. More here

Some U.S. Housing Markets Booming

Over the last few years, the housing market has made significant strides toward recovery. Housing markets all over the United States have improved, and prices have grown to reach all-time highs in some areas. Some of the counties with the best housing markets in the U.S. are San Francisco County, California, Johnson County, Iowa, Henderson County, Texas, Marion County, Indiana and Delaware County, Philadelphia. More here

Tips To Help Avoid Energy Savings Scams

As the heat of summer arrives, energy costs are expected to increase along with the number of false ads promising to reduce your energy costs. Experts have compiled a list of ways you can avoid false ads and be protected against lower energy costs scams. A few tips mentioned are: Look for accreditation and/or certification from environmental companies who specialize in energy savings and then verify your findings, exercise caution when dealing with businesses that promise to cut your current bill by a large sum and ask to see the offer in writing, and check out any business offering assistance with the BBB to ensure legitimacy. More here

New Metropolitan Properties Are Smaller

According to research, new metropolitan properties are smaller than properties built between 2003 and 2009. New properties are now on average around 950 square feet, compared to properties a few years ago that averaged 1,000 square feet. Experts say there are two primary reasons new properties in metros are being made smaller: Building smaller units helps reduce construction costs, and will also help sales due to lower prices. More here#img#

Money Saving Landscaping Tips From Experts

As warm weather makes its way into most of the United States, many people are looking for landscaping and lawn-care bargains. Prices change from season to season, and it is always smart to pay attention to value when beginning a project, as costs can add up quickly. Experts have compiled a list of tips to help reduce costs when doing landscaping work. A few tips are: Plan before making any purchases, estimate how much you may spend, try not to buy everything all at once, talk with professionals and accept any advice they may offer, and research prices at many different stores and companies. More here

Rent Increase Slows In Many Areas

New data suggests that rent prices have begun to relax as inventory picks up, providing people with many more options than before. At the beginning of this year, 54,000 new apartments were created while the demand required approximately 27,000. As the number of vacant apartments increase, landlords will be forced to lower their rent prices in order to keep their units occupied. Experts warn that not all markets are experiencing the same decrease in rent as supply differs in many locales. More here