The start of a new season means that it's time to clean up the house, swap out clothes in your closets, and break out the seasonal tools in the garage. Check out the following tricks that will prepare any homeowner with the organizing skills necessary to keep everything tidy year-round.

Store It In The Fall

1. Garden tools and pots: Hose off dirty gardening gear and stack pots in tiers. For pots with fragile surfaces, layer newspaper between vessels to protect from scratches and chips. Outdoor garden storage benches and cabinets are also great for storing tools and pots over the winter. To find gear easily come spring, group like items together.
2. Summer clothes: To free up precious closet real estate, measure the number of feet of hanging space your clothes take up and get a garment rack wide enough to accommodate it all. Stow in a dry basement or attic. And be sure to clean clothes before putting them away—even if they look spot-free. Stains that seem invisible can oxidize over time and be hard to get out if left untreated.
3. Beach towels, picnic blankets, outdoor linens, and tableware: Clear the linen closet of summer beach towels and outdoor tablecloths and place mats; stash in giant plastic tubs. Cradle outdoor dishes and cups on top. Park the bin in a basement or attic.

Store It In The Winter

1. Garden rakes: Hang long-handled rakes and garden tools from ...


The Plan Collection (TPC) notes that having a haunted-looking house might be just the look you want once a year, but what about once Halloween's over? The company shares their list of the top 10 elements of a house plan design that can make any home the scariest in the neighborhood along with advice on how to fix them.

1. Lifeless Color Scheme. Dark paint colors, when used as the primary exterior color, can make almost any home look dreary, uninviting. Lighter paint colors that complement the design of your house are often the better choice for the exterior of your home. Reserve your use of darker color to areas that emphasize special features such as the trim or windows.

2. Ghostly Lighting. No one wants to knock on the door of a house without exterior lighting, but lighting features that cause heavy shadows along walk-ways or at entry points - creating that fear that something or someone might be lurking just ahead -- can be even worse. Redirecting the light features or using lower wattage bulbs is often an easy way to chase the ghosts away. If investing in new lighting, consider lamps that emphasize the beauty of your home's exterior features.

3. Eerie Architectural Style. Remember the rather "unique" look of the home in The Addams Family? Norman Bates' house on the hill in Psycho? Certain architectural styles - such as Victorian and the Second Empire style with ...


The Path to Homeownership- On a Budget

Oct 18
3:28
PM
Category | Blog

For some families buying a home can seem out of reach because their income just isn’t enough. On top of financial stress, the competitive market may make buyers feel like they will never find a home they can afford. If you dream of buying a house but have lost hope because you don’t think you can afford it, don't give up. There are several things you can do to help make your dream of buying a home into a reality.

Search in More Affordable Neighborhoods
When trying to buy a house in a competitive market, you might see high-end houses snapped up in minutes. In order to avoid bidding wars and having to either walk away or agree to a price way outside your budget, consider looking at areas with less interest. This includes neighborhoods you may have written off—you may find a hidden gem in an area you originally ignored.
 
Consider neighborhoods farther away from downtown, which often have lower house values. You could get more bang for your buck in terms of home size and outdoor space in these areas. Some neighborhoods on public transit lines may end up being quicker commutes than areas closer to downtown metros.

Save for Amenities
If switching neighborhoods isn’t an option, scale back on your must-have list. A great home doesn't have to come with all the bells and whistles and you can save up to make gradual improvements after you purchase your home. Several aspects of residential ...


The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell as the FOMC decided to leave short term rates unchanged, according to Freddie Mac's recently released Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®).
 
"Investors flocked to the safety of government bonds causing the 10-year Treasury yield to continue its descent following the FOMC's decision to leave rates unchanged,” says Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac. “The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage responded by dropping six basis points before landing at 3.42 percent—a 10-week low. The course of the economy is uncertain, yet consumers continue to be a bright spot. The September consumer confidence index is up 3 percent to 104.1, exceeding forecasts and reaching a new cycle high." 

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.42 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending September 29, 2016, down from last week when it averaged 3.48 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.85 percent.  
 
Additionally, the 15-year FRM this week averaged 2.72 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.76 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.07 percent.

The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.81 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.80 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.91 ...


When dealing with the prospect of buying a home, assets can be one of the most important pieces of the puzzle. Not only do assets come into play when determining whether you can afford a loan, they also play a large role in determining whether you’ll be able to get the mortgage you need.
 
Mortgage lenders dissect the entire credit history of a potential client, and assets play a big role in the process since they’re a reflection of a borrower’s fiscal strength. Taking this one step further, a borrower’s ability to save and properly budget could be a significant indicator to their future paying habits. Simply put, when mortgage lenders examine your worth, they look at the amount of money needed for the down payment and closing costs, prepaids such as insurance and taxes, escrow and money that would be available in reserve in case of an emergency.
 
Common assets considered in a mortgage loan application include stocks, bonds, mutual funds, 401k and retirement accounts, life insurance, cars, boats, antiques, jewelry and other real estate. When an asset is referred to as being “liquid,” it has cash value, or can easily be converted to cash. Liquidity is important in cases of financial emergency. Liabilities can be listed from the borrower's credit report. Alimony and child support payments also must be disclosed, so the lender can evaluate the borrower's financial obligations.
 
The source of where your assets came from is also ...


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