Thursday, August 29, 2013

Are Dining Rooms Dead? 5 Better Ways To Use That Space

How many times did your family use your dining room last year? If you can count the meals at the table on one hand, then you may want to consider repurposing that room. It can be hard to let go of the dining-room dream, but let’s be realistic. A room that only gets used during holidays isn’t worth keeping. If you’re willing to break out of the traditional dining-room mold, the possibilities can go a lot further than three-course meals and dress shoes. Here are five ways to get more from your dining room. For example, if you spend a lot of time in the kitchen and love the idea of your kids playing close by, then turn your dining room into their playroom. Ditch the fancy table and replace it with a craft table and add toy bins or book shelves. Full Article 


30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rates Fall for First Time in Five Weeks

Mortgage rates for 30-year fixed mortgages fell this week, with the current rate borrowers were quoted on Zillow Mortgage Marketplace at 4.37 percent, down from 4.52 percent at this same time last week.
The 30-year fixed mortgage rate hovered between 4.56 and 4.48 percent for the majority of the week before steadily declining near the current rate during the weekend.
“Mortgage rates retreated late last week on a significant drop in new home sales and weaker-than-expected manufacturing data,” said Erin Lantz, director of Zillow Mortgage Marketplace. “This week, if scheduled economic reports reveal additional downbeat economic data, rates could drift even lower heading into the Labor Day weekend.”
Additionally, the 15-year fixed mortgage rate this morning was 3.34 percent and for 5/1 ARMs, the rate was 3.12 percent. Full Article

Monday, August 19, 2013

Landscape Your Home To Sell

When selling your home, landscaping determines whether your home feels inviting from the outside. Curb appeal is important to 71 percent of homebuyers when choosing their abode, according to a 2013 National Association of Realtors survey. Landscaping is a large part of that curb appeal, says Frank J. Lucco, managing director of IRR-Residential Appraisers & Consultants in Houston. “That first impression is important,” says Lucco. “If they don’t like the looks of the front of the house, which is mostly landscaping,” often they won’t even go inside. A landscaping investment could potentially pay a 215 percent return in home value, says Margaret Woda, a Realtor with Long & Foster Real Estate in Crofton, Md. While you may only recoup 68 percent of kitchen renovation fees, Woda says landscaping is money well-spent. Here are five things to consider with your landscaping. Full Article


Monday, August 5, 2013

Selling Your Home: Should You Build A Fence So Buyers Won’t Worry About Privacy?

“It’s never great to be able to look into someone else’s window,” said Lyn Stevens, a real estate broker at Sotheby’s International Realty in Greenwich, Conn. And it’s worse still when they can look into yours. But before trying to solve the problem, she said, “think about return on investment, and salability.” A thoughtfully designed fence may improve the look of your yard and resolve privacy issues, she said, which could make the property more salable. But that doesn’t necessarily mean a higher sale price. “These things end up costing a lot of money, and you won’t necessarily get the value out of them,” she said. “If you had two homes side by side, and one had a fence in the backyard and the other one didn’t, I don’t see the one with the fence selling at a higher number.”  Full Article