With the start of September, summer is nearing its end and Fall is fast approaching. With the beginning of the Autumn Season comes the need for home maintenance. As a new homeowner, doing this maintenance now can save you big headaches later on in the year. According to DIYNetwork.com, the most important home tasks for late summer are:
Painting the Exterior
Lower humidity and cooler temperatures make late summer and early fall ideal times to paint the exterior of the home.
Cleaning Gutters and Downspouts
Clear all drainage areas of leaves and debris, and consider installing gutter guards.
Inspecting the Roof
Hire a licensed professional to examine the roof for wear and tear. (If the shingles are buckling, cracking or curling, it is time to replace them.) Be sure the professional assesses the flashing around chimneys, pipes, and/or skylights.
Turning Off Hose Valves
Turn off the valves to exterior hose bibs to prevent water pipes from bursting when the weather dips below freezing. Wrap pipes that run along exterior walls with heating tape.
Replace the filter in the furnace or heating system. Consider consulting with a licensed heating contractor to inspect and service the unit before the season turns.
Check the insulation in the attic to ...
Just because summer is nearly over, doesn’t mean your home improvement projects need to come to a halt along with those lazy pool days and barbecues.
One effective method to choosing a home improvement project is to conduct a perimeter walk of their homes and take note of any exterior problems, including landscaping fixes, driveway repairs, new paint, etc. Some projects you can DIY and other larger renovations and repairs will require that you hire a professional.
Landscaping fixes generally can be done by the homeowner; trim back your trees, fix any broken fences and clean up those flower beds for fall. If it’s a larger project, be sure to do your research before calling in a professional. A certified contractor can make driveway repairs and a quality housepainter can freshen up your home’s outdoor appearance.
Another end of summer project to tackle is checking and testing window seals, as the days of ceiling-fan and air-conditioning use eventually will lead to turning up the heat.
Out back, pool decks, boat docks and pathways should be inspected for damage, such as mildew, rotting wood and cracks. All are relatively easy to fix and will improve the look of the back-yard vista, making it more appealing for potential buyers if you decide to sell your home in the future.
Preparation is vital for property owners that stand to be impacted by an impending storm—so much so that it can be life-saving even after storm conditions have subsided. Post-storm cleanup, especially, can be made less challenging with precautionary measures.
Preparing for bad weather is always wise, especially who you are a homeowner because you will want to remedy any damage made to your property quickly. While everyone thinks about buying milk, bread, and toilet paper before a storm, many people forget about making sure their outdoor power equipment is in order for after the storm and that generators are ready for use.
Property owners can plan ahead for a safe cleanup by using some of these tips.
Taking Stock – Take a look at the property and consider what-if scenarios:
• Will the tree in my yard fall?
• Will the shed withstand high winds?
• Can I reinforce the windows?
Inspect the equipment you do have and purchase other items, such as a chain saw, reflective clothing or safety goggles, if needed.
Fueling Up – It is common for fuel stations to close in the days following a severe storm. Stock up on the fuel needed to power any outdoor equipment you may be using, including a generator. Bear in mind that for outdoor power equipment, it is illegal to use fuel containing more than 10 percent ethanol.
Reviewing – Before the storm hits (and the power potentially goes out), take time to review operator’s manuals of any outdoor power ...
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) recently announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises), at FHFA's direction, will implement a new refinance offering aimed at borrowers with high loan-to-value (LTV) ratios. The new refinance offering will provide much-needed liquidity for borrowers who are current on their mortgage but are unable to refinance through traditional programs because their LTV ratio exceeds the Enterprises' maximum limits.
"Providing a sustainable refinance opportunity for high LTV borrowers who have demonstrated responsibility by remaining current on their mortgage makes financial sense both for borrowers and for the Enterprises," says FHFA Director Melvin L. Watt. "This new offering will give borrowers the opportunity to refinance when rates are low, making their mortgages more affordable and thus reducing credit risk exposure for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac."
In order to qualify for the new offering, borrowers: (1) must not have missed any mortgage payments in the previous six months; (2) must not have missed more than one payment in the previous 12 months; (3) must have a source of income; and (4) must receive a benefit from the refinance such as a reduction in their monthly mortgage payment. Full details will be available in the coming months through the Enterprises, but the offering will make use of the lessons learned from the Home Affordable Refinance Program ...
Credit scores and mortgage rates go hand-in-hand. Borrowers with high credit scores tend to get lower interest rates on mortgages than borrowers with low credit scores. There is a wealth of misinformation about credit—in fact, credit users, even those who check their scores often, incorrectly believe age, employment history and salary factor into a credit score, according to a recently released TransUnion survey.
“Checking your credit score is an important component of financial responsibility, but consumers should do more,” said TransUnion Consumer Interactive President John Danaher in a statement on the survey. The TransUnion Consumer Survey shows that even those who monitor their credit are only skimming the surface of their credit report and often don’t understand the factors that comprise their credit score.”
The most common misconceptions both credit-checkers and non-credit-checkers should know, according to TransUnion, are:
Myth: Checking my credit report will lower my score.
Checking your credit report will not impact your score—a lender checking your report, however, may.
Myth: Using my debit card will boost my score.
Use of a debit card does not reflect your credit habits, and, thus, will not impact your credit score.
Myth: My salary factors into my score.
Your salary will not impact your credit score, but a ...