Tips To Reduce Water Consumption At Home

With California experiencing the worst drought in hundreds of years, water conservation is becoming a hot topic across the United States. A few simple ways you can reduce the amount of water used in your household are: Water your outdoor plants and grass between the hours of 10:00pm and 6:00am to decrease the evaporation rate. Check your home frequently for small leaks in shower-heads, toilets and faucets. Also, equip your home with water-efficiency devices that are made to increase water conservation. While the appliances or tools may be expensive, your lowered monthly bills will offset the price. More here

Median Household Income Is Growing

According to a new report from Sentier Research, the median household income has increased over the last three years, jumping to 3.8% in June, and averaging $53,891. Although median income has increased, it is still considered to be 3.1% below the mid-2009 high of $55,589. Gordon Green, a partner at Sentier, stated that “even though technically the recovery began in June 2009 the broad measures of unemployment were still high. As people found jobs, their incomes went up and then we started to see incomes turn around.” More here

How To Paint Like A Professional

Painting the interior of your home is a big job, but if you know what you’re doing, you can save hundreds by not hiring a professional painter. A few ways you can get a professional look without spending a significant amount of money are: Remove everything out of the room, including light fixtures and floor molding. Purchase a good drop cloth to cover and protect floors. Repair any cracks or dents in the walls and sand them down so the paint can better grip the walls. After sanding the walls, wash the sand dust off with a damp cloth. Prime your walls so the true color of the paint can be seen; it will also ensure the paint is applied smoothly. Lastly, purchase a roller that is lightweight and not too long. The roller should hold paint, but not create too much texture. More here

Things To Consider When Buying An Older House

While the charm and character of an aged house can be very appealing, there are a few things to look for when considering buying an older home. Termites- a home inspection can usually rule out if the home has termites or not, but older homes are more likely to have had leaks in the past leaks. Wet wood attracts termites and other bugs, and you may want to invest in a professional termite inspection. Lead paint- homes built before 1978 may have lead paint in them. Lead poisoning can cause multiple health problems and is a serious matter that should be investigated using either a home lead detection kit or a certified lead inspector. Windows- you may want to consider installing new windows. Older homes, more often than not, have single-pane windows that are not energy efficient and are more prone to leaks and rotting. More here

June Home Prices Increased

According to recent data, home prices grew 0.8% in June from the previous month and increased 5.5% from June 2013. Data shows that half of the 40 largest metropolitan cities have reported positive monthly improvement. Miami and San Francisco specifically have experienced large monthly gains, increasing as much as 11.8%. States such as Texas, Nevada, Colorado and Michigan have also seen monthly improvements. Additionally, home appreciation has continued to grow over the last year, but at a slower pace. More here

Tips To Properly Care For Your Wood Fence

Wood fences are the perfect way to create a safe place for your children or animals to play, or even just allow more privacy to your backyard. While fences are an added perk to any home, they need to be regularly maintained  in order to keep them looking good and working efficiently for many years to come. A few ways you can get the most out of your wood fence are: When buying wood for your fence you should choose redwood or cedar, as these varieties are more resilient to rot. Posts should be pressure treated to protect them from insects and moisture found in the ground. Fence owners should strive to keep vines and bushes away from the fence line, and to position irrigation systems far enough away from the fence line to guarantee the fence stays dry and free of rot. More here

Millennials Have Lowest Home Delinquency Rate

Mortgage delinquencies have fallen for the 10th consecutive quarter in the U.S., decreasing approximately 20% in just the last year. According to a recent report from TransUnion, millennials are helping to keep the delinquency rate down. Millennials have the lowest delinquency rate among all ages right now, averaging 2.43%. The head of financial services for TransUnion, Steve Chaouki said,  “overall, the improvements in the mortgage delinquency rate can be attributed to a number of factors. These include the clearing of severely delinquent accounts through foreclosure as well as a lower rate of new delinquencies from post-recession vintages, which generally are of significantly higher credit quality and have experienced much better performance than mortgages originated before the recession.” More here

Small Home Repairs That May Help You Save Big

Fixing small problems today in your home can end up saving you thousands of dollars in the future. Experts have given tips to help save money and avoid major catastrophe by addressing small tasks when problems arise. If your electricity bill is much higher than it should be consider checking the insulation on your exterior walls and in your attic. If the amount of insulation is little to none, a new installment may be in order. Proper insulation in all parts of your home can reduce energy consumption significantly. Replace any wet or mold-damaged drywall in your home and look for leaks. Invest in a hot water heater tray to reduce the risk of flooding in your home. Inspect, and if needed, install new windowsills. You can also use exterior caulk to help seal your windows. Another good idea for reducing the electricity bill is to keep your AC unit cleaned out so it will work more efficiently. You can use a leaf blower to remove leaves and debris. More here

Housing Market Index Reaches Highest Level In 7 Months

According to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo’s Housing Market Index, this month’s builder confidence for new single-family homes jumped two points, averaging 55, the highest level seen since the beginning of the year. August is the third consecutive month that the Housing Market Index has experienced an increase. The Chairman for the NAHB, Kevin Kelly said, “as the employment picture brightens, builders are seeing a noticeable increase in the number of serious buyers entering the market.” More here

Lesser-Known Cities To Consider For Retirement

States such as Arizona and Florida are among the most-popular locations in which to retire, according to research. As reported by, there are other less-known locations that are worthy of exploration. A few cities that are great locations for older Americans are: Greenville, North Carolina, Greenville is a growing city with mild weather and affordable living. Lincoln, Nebraska, Lincoln is a city full of activity with large walking, jogging, and cycling trails, a world-class performing arts center, low cost of living, and great access for Medicare. Huntsville, Alabama, Huntsville is a destination with exceptional heath care, great golfing courses and the median home price is under $140,000. Finally, Jackson, California, Jackson is a quaint town with pleasant weather all year and is located in wine country. The city offers great amenities for seniors, with charging stations for vehicles and lower utility costs. More here